December 30, 2011

Homemade Sushi

So, last night I learned how to make sushi!!  Anyone who knows me can imagine me doing my happy dance right now.  One of my most favorite things is to learn a new cooking technique and last night was especially great because it was my big brother Scott who taught me (a sushi-expert extraordinaire).

A little background before getting into the recipe:  this week Kirk and I were visiting my step-brother Scott, his wife Jen and my niece Samantha up in Maryland (my parents were there too)!   When Scott was in college, he did an exchange program in Japan.  He loved it so much that he decided to move back after he graduated for another 2 years.  Living over there, he ate and made sushi all of the time.  One of the many benefits of this is that Scott always does the sushi ordering when we are all together.  He orders things I would never venture to get and it is always delicious.   Well, last night we were debating what to do for dinner and sushi came up.  I’m not really sure who suggested it first (probably me) but we decided to make our own sushi!  Scott hadn’t made it in a very long time, but apparently it was like riding a bike because it turned out great.

Cook’s Note:  There may be other variations out there and I certainly intend on following up on things we learn about making sushi as we go along!  But this is “version 1” J

Step One:  Make sticky sushi rice

Step Two: Prep ingredients (vegetables, fish)

Step Three:  Assemble

Step Four:  Devour!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups short-grain white rice (sushi rice)
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb yellowfin tuna filet, frozen and thawed
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 bag sushi nori/toasted seaweed
  • bamboo sushi rolling mat or parchment paper
  • wasabi powder
  • ginger (optional, I don’t normally eat this with my sushi)
  • low sodium soy sauce for dipping!

1:  Making the Sticky Rice – (40 minutes)

  • Measure 2 cups rice and rinse multiple times until the water is clear.  For rinsing, just use the pot you are going to boil the rice in and use the lid to help drain (or use colander with small holes or cheese cloth to help keep the rice from going through the holes)!
  • Add 2.5 cups of water and bring to a boil over med-high heat.  Once the pot is boiling, cover with a lid to trap all of the steam and turn heat to the lowest possible setting (10-15 minutes)
  • Once all of the water is evaporated, move off of the heat and leave uncovered for 10 minutes to set.
  • Combine 2 TBPS rice vinegar, 2 TBPS sugar (or rice sweetener) and 1 tsp kosher salt in a small bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds.  Stir, ensuring that the sugar is melted.  Consistency should be syrupy.
    • Cook’s Note: I liked the taste of the rice a lot, but Scott said it didn’t taste quite like he was expecting.   I’ll update if I find a new ratio that I like better.
  • Gently fold vinegar syrup into the rice.  Don’t stir or the rice may become clumpy and mushy.
  • Let rice cool to room temperature or at least cool enough to handle with your bare hands.

2:  Prep Ingredients – (15 minutes)

  • Wash & peel one cucumber.  The goal is to cut very small, thin strips without any of the seeds.  Working around the core of the cucumber (in order to avoid the seeds), cut about a 1/8-1/4” slice off each side of the cucumber (4).  Laying these flat on your cutting board, cut each of these in half.  Then, carefully cut very thin strips.  These will be layered in the sushi roll, so it is better for them to be small and thin to avoid making the roll bulky.
  • Wait until assembling the rolls to cut the avocado.  When you are ready to cut it, cut in half lengthwise and remove the pit.  Using any kind of knife, cut small strips of avocado for layering.
  • Cut the tuna.  This part I’m not really sure how to describe, so you may have to watch this awesome youtube video!  Scott cut the tuna steak into portions usable for nigiri and scrap pieces usable for the rolls.  Anytime when there was a big string of fat, he would pull that out and put it into the discard pile.

    Alternatives to fresh fish:  immitation crab meat, shrimp, tempura fried fish, more vegetables..!

3:  Assemble (10 minutes)

  • Use either a bamboo mat or piece of parchment or wax paper (we had to do this bc Scott couldn’t find his bamboo mat) as your base.  Lay on a cutting board or plate.
  • Set out a bowl of room temp water for rinsing your fingers before working with the sticky rice.
  • You can either use Nori/Seaweed as the next layer or skip straight to the rice.  If using Nori, lay the shiny side facedown.  For the purpose of the instructions, I’m going to assume we are using the Nori.
  • Scoop some rice onto your Nori paper – only enough to cover the bottom ½ of the paper with a thin layer.  Dip your fingers in the bowl and spread out the rice.  Too much rice is bad.  I was surprised how little is needed!  Scott kept having to tell me to put some back into the bowl 🙂
  • Layer on tuna, then layer the cucumber and avocado so that it is even all the way across the roll.
  • Use your bamboo mat to fold your roll over.  Keep it tight, forming what you would imagine an un-cut sushi roll to look like.  Cut off the excess Nori paper (or only use a half sheet to begin with).
  • Using a sharp knive, cut the roll in half and then into quarters working down to smaller bites.  Each roll should yield 8-10 pieces depending on how you cut it.  You may need to wash your knife every few cuts because the sticky rice can leave a residue on the blade making it hard to cut.

Serve on a fun plate with ginger and wasabi!  We made our wasabi using the powder available in most grocery stores on the international aisle.  It is a powder you mix equally with water and is the same stuff you’d get in the restaurants!  Scott said fresh grated wasabi root is really the best though if you can find it.  That is definitely on our list of things to try!

Note:  We purchase the tuna straight from the seafood section in Whole Foods and were able to use it without any other steps because it was very fresh and it was a salt water fish.  However, we read that it is recommended to freeze the fish first to get rid of any potential bacteria, especially with fresh water fish.  Ask the butcher though, there is a good chance the fish has already been flash frozen unless you are in a coastal community.  Just be careful!!

December 13, 2011

Broccoli Soup – An Ever Evolving Recipe

Kirk and I have become obsessed with homemade broccoli soup.  It’s easy, quick, healthy and when you use the immersion blender – definitely more fun than the usual recipes!  Kirk always gets that task though, he has become a master of it.

The #1 reason why I love this recipe is that once you make a successful batch following the recipe (Link:  Original Recipe), you basically can just wing it in all future attempts!  We’ve made it 3-4 times now and I’ve done different variations each time.   The only thing that seems to really matter is putting enough spices in and enough liquid.  I’m very eager to see this continue to evolve into other pureed soups!

Version #3 / Semi Smoky Broccoli – Potato – Carrot Puree Soup

Note:  I made a triple batch this go-round and then froze the leftovers into my mini loaf pans.  Each is exactly one serving, ~1.5-2 cups.  I’ll take them out of the loaf pans tonight and put the “soup blocks” in a big ziplock bag or vacuum seal them (and then right back into the freezer). 

  • Step 1:  Thaw Frozen Broccoli Florets in a large stock pot over med-high heat with enough water to boil.  Drain in collander.  Leave it in the sink for now!  I used 3 LBS of broccoli.
  • Step 2:  Rinse Potatoes and Carrots.  Leavings skins on, roughly chop into medium sized pieces.  I used 4 cups Russet Baking Potatoes and 4 Regular Carrots.
  • Step 3:  Peel & Slice Cloves of GarlicI used 2 cloves.
  • Step 4:  Measure out:  Salt, Pepper, Celery Salt, Onion Powder, and NutmegI used 1 tsp of each except for the nutmeg… that was just three shakes.
  • Step 5:  Pour Olive Oil in quickly rinsed stock pot and sautee garlic, spices and carrots for about 5 minutes over medium heat.  I used ~ 1 TBSP or 3 ish second pour from my bottle with a spout.
  • Step 6:  Add in Potatoes,Broth, and Milk.  Bring to Boil.  I used 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, 2.5 cups 2% milk, 2 tbsp of heavy cream.
  • Step 7:  Add in Broccoli back in at any point you want after it reaches a boil.
  • Step 8: Boil over med-heat for 15 minutes.  Start checking to see when the potatoes and carrots are cooked enough to be pierced (doesn’t have to be mushy or anything).
  • Step 9:  Add a few shakes ofChipotle Tobasco Sauce
  • Step 10:  Puree with immersion blender until smooth!!  Careful:  be sure to keep the bottom of the immersion stick under the liquid so it doesn’t splatter.
  • Step 11:  Taste with a spoon to see if it needs more salt, pepper or liquid.  Adjust to your taste a little bit at a time!

 In all, this probably took us 35-45 minutes.  I noted the portions I used out to the side in each step so you can adjust on your own!  Use whatever spices, type of potato, type of broth, milk or vegetables that you want!  It’s fun to experiment.  I’ve used vegetable broth and soy milk before and it was just as wonderful.

Happy Cooking!!

Tool Shout-Out:  Cuisinart Smart Stick Immersion Blender

December 11, 2011

Best Turkey Burgers Ever!!

I found this recipe on http://www.Food.com and have made it twice now!  Love love love it.  It is now our go-to!  Very moist, good flavor and healthy!  Highly highly recommend making this to everyone.  We made doubles (1/2 lb) and calculated them to be roughly 600 calories with our toppings and the bread.  Realistically, I should have just eaten a single – but I was feeling pretty hungry because I had just come from spin class.. 🙂  Either way, not too shabby for a dinner meal!  With the fries, it was probably about 800 total for the meal.

  • 1-1.5 lbs ground turkey (or chicken) – we use 93/7 lean
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (original)
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ReaLemon juice
  • salt & pepper (couple of shakes and grinds, hah)

Combine all ingredients and shape into patties.  With all of the added ingredients, if you are using 1.5 lbs of turkey, it yields roughly 8 patties (4 oz each).  I used my kitchen scale to measure them out 🙂  We also smooshed the burgers out to be as round as the buns we were using (~1/4 inch thick).  I found that they didn’t really shrink up too much, which was great!  Grill 5-6 minutes per side in a grill pan (I flip them when the meat is cooked a little more than halfway up the burger).

Top with anything that you like!  We normally pick some kind of fun cheese like jalapeno havarti out of the deli section or use sharp cheddar.  Wholly Guacamole is now making 100 calorie guac packs for snacking, but we use them for our burgers because we can split a package between our two burgers and don’t have to worry about the rest going bad!

Original Recipe:  http://www.food.com/recipe/healthy-chicken-turkey-burgers-123779

Happy Cooking!!  If you come up with any fun topping combinations, feel free to share!

November 29, 2011

King Ranch Chicken Casserole – Two Versions

I came home last night without stopping by the store first… and THEN decided that I wanted to cook.  But I didn’t feel like going back out.  So, I decided I was in the mood to improvise.  I started out with a new recipe from the new Best of Home Cooking Cookbook (gift from Shaina!).  First, I’ll give the original recipe – and then I’ll tell you how I did my version.  Disclaimer:  what I did will likely sound crazy, but I thought it was fun and more about learning than anything.  I was lucky that it actually came out tasting good!

King Ranch Chicken Casserole (p 188 of cookbook)

**items that I edited in my version

  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup**
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup**
  • 1 (10) oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 2 tbsp sour cream**
  • 1 white onion, diced small**
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small**
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced small**
  • 2 jalapeno, deeded, diced fine (optional)
  • 2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • meat from one cooked chicken, roughly shredded**
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated, divded
  • 8-10 corn tortillas, quartered.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine broth, soups, tomatoes, sour cream, onions, peppers and spices in bowl.  Thoroughly mix.  Reserve a 1/2 cup of mixture and place to the side.
  3. Place half of chicken in a lightly oiled 9×13 casserole dish.  Spoon over half of the sauce, spread evenly.  Top with 1/3 of cheese.  Top with half the tortillas.  A single layer is fine, don’t need to be fancy 🙂
  4. Repeat: top with rest of chicken and then spread with rest of sauce. Top with other 1/3 of cheese and then remainder of tortilla quarters.
  5. Cover with reserved 1/2 cup of sauce and then top with last of the cheese!
  6. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.  Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

My improvisations:

  • left out the onions and peppers…. because I didn’t have any AND Kirk doesn’t like them 🙂
  • left out the sour cream, also because I didn’t have any
  • used canned jalapenos
  • Instead of a whole cooked chicken, we poached two chicken breasts and then shredded them using this recipe
  • Instead of canned soup, I made it from scratch using this online recipe:
    • http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cream-of-chicken-soup/
    • sauteed 1 stalk celery, diced in 1 TBSP butter with 1 pressed garlic clove and a splash of lemon juice – then pull out of pan and reserve on the side until after the roux starts
    • used butter instead of vegetable oil for the roux
    • SKIP SKIP SKIP the sugar!
    • add:  1 cube bouillon, 1/8 tsp poultry seasoning
    • up the flour or add cornstarch to get it to thicken

Lesson Learned?  It’s ok to experiment!  Just first decide that you are OK eating later than normal, be sure to take it slow and prep all ingredients before starting and either listen to music or something that will keep you in the zone so you can actually enjoy the experience!

Happy Cooking!!

April 17, 2011

Pimento Dogs in a Blanket

I bought the supplies to make regular pigs & blanket like when I was growing up… and then Kirk had a great idea.  He first asked if we could find a spicy cheese to use instead of standard cheddar.  Then while we were at Costco earlier today he found a Jalapeno Pimento Cheese spread and we decided that would be our filling.  Absolutely delicious!   This will definitely be repeated in the future in our kitchen.

  • 1 Package Hot Dogs of Your Choice (we used Ball Park Turkey Dogs)
  • 1 or 2 Packages Crescent Rolls (you can either use a full section of dough or a half…I used a half)
  • Jalapeno Pimento Cheese Spread
  • Directions:
    • Preheat the oven to 350 or 375, depending on the pan you use (follow directions on cresent roll package)
    • Cut hot dogs in half and then cut a slit lengthwise down the middle
    • Stuff with a tablespoon of cheese spread
    • Wrap uncooked crescent roll dough around the stuffed dog
    • Place on baking sheet and cook according to package directions (~13 minutes or until browned)
Voila!  So yummy and really quick to make.
Happy Cooking 🙂
April 16, 2011

Bodum French Coffee Press, Nice to Meet You!

As I was walking to the office Friday morning, I decided that I finally wanted to boycott the free coffee machine that I have been using for the past year.  It’s one of those automatic Flavia coffee machines where you can “pick your strength” and the choose a flavor pouch.  While I appreciate the fact that it’s free and the Costa Rica blend tastes pretty darn good, it just doesn’t give me the caffeine punch that I really need to have a more productive & alert day.

I had heard about French Presses for a while and had seen them in stores and in the Starbucks line, but never had a particular reason to buy one…. until now!  SO, before I got to the office I diverted and marched right over to the nearby Starbucks and purchased their 4-Cup Bodum French Coffee Press and a small bag of their Tribute 40 Year Anniversary blend.  To top it all off, they grounds the beans for me on the spot… and made them coarse, which I didn’t even know was required for a French Press.  Thank goodness!  I would have totally botched that.  I immediately made a pot for me and a co-worker to try out and it was heavenly.  Bold flavor and that caffeine punch that I was craving, all brewed at my desk!

*I need to give a shout-out to the hot-water feature of the Flavia machine I am boycotting (coffee feature only..) and note that I am not out of compliance with the small appliance guidelines here at work…which we were just sent a reminder of last week, hah 🙂

My friend Paige has been raving about Coffee Presses for as long as I can remember and I am now thankful that I finally gave it.  There are all sorts of benefits to the Coffee Press that I never thought about before yesterday!  Here they are…

Benefits of a French Coffee Press:

  • Doesn’t use electricity = Green!
  • Its portable!  You can take it anywhere… office, home, vacation, boyfriend/fiances house who doesn’t have a coffee maker (ahem, Kirk)!
  • It tastes like the fresh coffee from Starbuck’s or that little shop near your office….way stronger than an auto-machine like a Keurig or Flavia…
  • It makes coffee more of an experience than just a routine 🙂
  • 21 Ways to Use Old Coffee Grounds  You can use the coarse coffee grounds for many things (instead of them being trapped inside a little pouch or pod)!

Up Next:

  • Uses of Baking Soda in the Kitchen & Home
  • Uses of White Vinegar in the Kitchen & Home
February 28, 2011

Veggie Focus is back!! Adobo Chicken and Italian Green Peas for Dinner.

So, I am getting some time back on my calendar now that my photography class is finished. That means… back to cooking! I didn’t forget about my new years resolution to finding ways to eat more veggies… in fact, I have a new recipe to share tonight. And it is downright simple and delicious.

Italian Peas – www.allrecipes.com

I followed this recipe almost to a T!   My (minor) changes: I only used half of an onion (vidalia) and diced it into bigger chunks so Kirk could pick them out. From start to finish, it took me just a little over 15 minutes. SO easy, I highly recommend it!

What did I serve it with?

Adobo Chicken on p252 of Eat This Not That Version: 350 Calorie Meals

I can’t find a link for this, but its easy so I’ll type up what I did:

-Combine 1/2 C Rice Wine, 1/2 C Low Sodium Soy Sauce, 4 Cloves Peeled & Crushed Garlic Cloves, 4 Bay Leaves & 1 tsp black pepper

-Bring to a simmer and 1 pound of chicken breasts.

-Cover and set timer for 25 minutes.

-Prepare white or brown rice after you get the chicken going.

-Remove chicken from sauce (make sure it is cooked all the way through) and then bring the sauce to a rapid boil.  It will take about 10-12 minutes, but the sauce will reduce by half and become really thick.

-While the sauce is thickening, cut the chicken into bite size pieces.  Toss into the sauce when it is thickened (should coat the back of a spoon).

Voila!  This dish is really tasty.  My major piece of advice?  If you’re planning to use frozen chicken, take it out the night before so it will be thawed.  This recipe takes long enough that you don’t need to add extra prep time by trying to thaw out chicken at the last minute.  How do I know?  I learned from experience tonight… 🙂

Oh and prep the pea dish while the chicken is simmering.  Start sauteeing the onions & garlic when there is 5 minutes left on the timer for the chicken.  Then it can cook while the sauce is thickening!

Happy Cooking! 🙂

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February 13, 2011

Nutrition on the go… One-a-Day, V8 Fusion and Smoothie King

Although it may seem like I have forgotten all about my new years resolution to find new ways to cook veggies and get my proper nutrition intake… I haven’t!   I’ve been taking a photography class at the light factory (for my other hobby) and intermediate accounting up at UNCC (for work) – so my window for cooking has been limited.  It makes me realize how things like juggling grad school or being parent could really make cooking healthy a challenge!

So, being realistic – sometimes there are other ways that we need to get in our nutrition if we can’t have a good hearty meal.

Here are some of my newest tactics:

Women’s One-a-Day Vitamin

I got this 250 count bottle at Costco yesterday on-sale (with coupon) for $10!  I bought Kirk a bottle of the Men’s version too.  That is a mere 4 CENTS per pill – and you only have to remember to take it once per day!  How easy is that?  I have found that leaving the bottle next to my OXO cereal container reminds to me to take it with my breakfast.  Otherwise, it can be easy to forget in the hustle and bustle of the morning.

V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry & Strawberry Banana

I’m not sure how long this has been on the market, but I discovered it in my Costco mailer yesterday morning and decided to buy a 24 pack yesterday for $11 bucks (after coupon).  That’s only 45 CENTS per can and you only need one per day.  Not bad, eh?  Luckily they had a sampler station set up so I could try it first.  I was surprised at how good it is!  Because of the V8 brand, I was expecting a tomato base… but it tastes just like Juicy Juice (without the sugary film on your teeth)!  I checked the nutrition facts before purchasing too… only 5% of daily sodium intake and although the sugars are kind of high, they are all natural (none added).   I had one yesterday and again today for an afternoon snack and I am very pleased 🙂  I plan on taking a stock to put in my desk at work and splitting the rest up between my condo and Kirk’s condo!

Smoothie King 20 oz Skinny

With classes from 6-9 two days per week, I’ve had to get creative with eating dinner.  Sometimes I have time to heat something up at work or take a sandwich, but most often I have found myself at the Smoothie King on the first floor of my building.   They now give you the option to make the shake SKINNY, which means they leave out the shot of Turbinado Sugar.  I go with the 20 oz and try to pick one that has protein because it will actually fill me up.  I typically do an add-in of caffeine or multi vitamins to give me energy for the night instead of drinking soda or more coffee.  With my bag of BBQ Pop Chips for snack, it usually ends up being $8-9 bucks.   If you sign up on their website, they’ll send you coupons though 🙂

There are LOTS of ways to get nutrition on the go, these are just some of the tactics I’m currently trying.  If you have more, please share in the comments!

Have a great week!  I’ll write more soon.

February 13, 2011

Oh fabulous new cookware, how I will love you :)

Today, Kirk and I received an engagement present from his parents…. our new cookware!!! 12 PC Stainless Steel Multi Clad Pro from Cuisinart with triple ply construction. 🙂   There is a time and place for all types of cookware.  I love my cast iron skillet and dutch oven, my non-stick skillet and grill pan, and my crock pot (of course).  But, I have long thought about a set of super conductive clean looking pots and pans that I can put on display AND also put to work on the stove and in the oven.

I read tons of reviews on this set before selecting and can’t wait to put it to the test.  The points highlighted in this article are exactly why we chose it!  Here they are…

  1. Rolled Edges
  2. Superior Handles
  3. Lots of Lids
  4. Bang for your buck!

Kirk and I spent the afternoon brainstorming what kind of shelving we’re going to install in his kitchen and will likely choose the same system I have in my kitchen: IKEA Grundtal!

I’ll do reviews on the cookware (and on stainless in general) in future posts.  In the meantime, definitely share your “lessons learned” on stainless steel!  According to the instructions, I’ll need to get used to using much lower heat levels and drying the pans immediately after washing to avoid water spots.

More to come soon…Happy Cooking!

January 6, 2011

New Years Lucky Lunch & Resolution

This year, I brought in the new year with some of my best girl friends from college.  We were very lucky to all be together for an entire weekend in Asheville, NC.  We decided to make a big traditional lunch on New Years Day, which gave me the perfect opportunity to start my New Years Resolution.

A “traditional” southern new years is to have pork, collard greens and black eye peas.  Pork symbolizes progress, greens symbolize money / dollar bills, and peas symbolize MORE money / coins!  Check out this article by epicurious.

My resolution this year was to eat more veggies!  I have done a lot of cooking over the last two years, but with very little focus on the stuff that we should all be eating every single day.  SO, 2011 is the year of the vegetable.  I’m going to focus on trying to eat classic veggies using classic recipes, and I’m also going to venture into not-so-common veggies and new creative recipes.

Before new years day, I had never made collard greens or hoppin’ john.  I really haven’t ever particularly cared for collard greens either.  BUT, I have to say… I enjoyed these so much that I went back for seconds and even reheated them earlier this week.

Collard Greens

Source: Paula Deen, Food Network

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/collard-greens-recipe/index.html

My adjustments: I used a 1/2 pound (i.e. 1/2 package) of oscar mayer maple bacon and cooked it for a few minutes in the bottom of the stock pot.  After some of the juices started cooking out, I added the three quarts water and then the spices.  Don’t let the recipe fool you like it almost fooled me.  I read the “house seasoning” recipe and almost screamed when I saw how much salt it called for…. then I realized that I only needed a tablespoon of the mixture.  I just added slightly less than a tablespoon of salt and a couple shakes of pepper and garlic powder.  I also added an entire peeled garlic clove to the water.  AND, I also didn’t have seasoned salt..  so I googled what comprised season salt and determined that more salt, two tsp of paprika, shaked of dill, thyme, and celery seed would suffice.  Only boiled the liquid mixture for 25 minutes before I added the prepared collard leaves and then cooked for an hour.  Mmmm.  Serve hot!

Hoppin’ John

Inspiration: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/hoppin-john/Detail.aspx

The store was sold out of dry black eyed peas, so I had to improvise.  It ended up working out perfectly and probably a lot easier.  This recipe is doubled because we had 12 people.

-2 large cans of Margaret Holmes brand Hoppin’ John with Vidalia Onion

-1/2 pound of maple oscar mayer bacon (i.e. the other half of the package..)

-1 cup of white rice

-4 cups of water

Directions: I also started the bacon cooking in the bottom of the large saucepan first, then added the water, rice, and canned hoppin’ john.  Cover and cook for ~30 minutes.  Voila!

For both recipes, I pulled the bacon out before I served it.  I’m sure you could leave it in or re-use it, but I ended up tossing it because we were on vacation and couldn’t use it.

We had a spiral ham which we cut up and served on Pilsbury Southern Style Biscuits (frozen section).  The whole meal was delicious!!  Good for serving year round, not just on the first day of the year.

Happy Cooking!!