Rice Pilaf


Adapted from recipe by Sarah at allrecipes.com 


This recipe lists orzo (pasta) as one of the ingredients, but the first time I made this rice pilaf, I did not have any orzo on hand.  I substituted thin spaghetti for the orzo, snapping the long spaghetti into small pieces, and it was fine.  If you like Rice-a Roni©, this will become your new favorite side dish.  It is easy to adapt this recipe to whatever you are planning for dinner by simply changing the broth, herbs and spices.  Also, a pinch of red pepper flakes gives it a nice little zing.  Enjoy!



2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup orzo
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup uncooked white rice
2 cups chicken broth




1. On a low heat, melt butter in a lidded skillet.  Add onions, cook and stir until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.



2.  Add garlic and orzo, cook for about 1 minute.



3. Add rice and chicken broth.  Turn up the heat and bring mixture to a boil.



4. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Remove from heat (leave the lid on), and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and serve.



Inside-Out Stuffed Pepper


Recipe courtesy of Stovetop Suppers

by Gooseberry Patch


1 green pepper, top removed

1 pound ground beef (you could also use ground turkey)

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

8 ounce can tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste




1. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add green pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes, until tender. I used a shallow pan, so I chopped my pepper in fourths so that it would be submerged in the boiling water.


2. Drain; cool slightly, and chop pepper.


3. Cook beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until beef is browned and onion is translucent.  Drain and return to skillet.


4. Add green pepper and cooked rice to the skillet.


5. Pour tomato sauce over beef mixture; stir and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I added garlic powder and red pepper flakes.


I garnished each serving with shredded cheddar cheese and fresh parsley from my herb garden.  This took about 30 minutes, which is great for those busy nights, and my husband Mark wants it added to the repertoire.  Enjoy!

Cowboy Beans


Cowboy Calico Beans are courtesy of Taste of Home.com


1/2 pound bacon, chopped into small pieces

1 large onion, chopped

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

3 Tablespoons cider vinegar

2 Tablespoons mustard

4- 16 ounce cans beans (I used cannellini beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, and pork-n-beans)



1. In a large pan or Dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon and drain it on a paper towel, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.



2.  Saute onion in bacon fat until soft and translucent.



3. Add beans to onions in pot.



4. Add brown sugar, ketchup, cider vinegar, mustard, and crispy bacon to beans and stir.



5. Place mixture in a crock pot and cook on low for 2-3 hours, or place on top of the stove and cook on low for about 1 1/2 hours.

My friend, Cindy P., brought these beans to my house once for a get-together, and they were so good.  I made this batch for Super Bowl XLVIII, in honor of the Denver Broncos (I made Salmon Sandwiches for their opponent, the Seattle Seahawks).  The original recipe uses hamburger, but when it came time to make these I was fresh out.  So I replaced the hamburger with bacon and it was yummy.  Enjoy!