Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup
1 package (16 ounces = 1 pound) dried split peas
1 cup diced fully cooked lean ham
1 cup diced carrots
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups chicken stock + 1 cup water heated (10 minutes in microwave)
(Ingredient 10) 1 cup hot milk

Layer the first 9 ingredients in a 5-6 quart slow cooker in the order listed. Do not stir. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Discard the bay laves. Whisk in the milk and let it cook a few minutes more before serving. Season with more salt and pepper.

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

2 tbs. Vegetable oil
1 lb. Lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup uncooked rice
2 tsp. chili powder
1 ½ cups water
1 tsp. seasoned salt
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 can (14 ¼ ounces) whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the beef, onion., and green pepper, cooking until the meat is browned; drain liquid.  Stir in remaining ingredients; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

German Potato Salad

This is my new favorite GPS. This is traditionally served warm.

2-3 pounds Yukon gold or yellow potatoes
1/2 -1 pound bacon
1 yellow onion, diced
1 box chicken stock
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mined chives, dehydrated okay

Gently scrub the potatoes and add in one layer into a pot, add chicken stock. Add water so that the potatoes are covered with about 2 inches liquid. Bring the potatoes to a boil and continue to boil for 15 – 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked but not mushy. I poke at them with a bamboo skewer to test for doneness. Drain liquid. Add cold water and ice and cool the potatoes for 5 minutes. Drain the cold water and pat the potatoes dry.

Slice the uncooked bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and add to a large skillet and cook on medium-high until golden brown. Remove the skillet from the heat. Take out the cooked bacon pieces and dry them in a few paper towels. Remove all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease.

Reheat the large skillet and add the diced onion. Cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar and mustard and continue to cook until a sauce begins to form, about 5 minutes.

Slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch pieces. Add potatoes to the onion mixture and gently mix. Add most of the chives. Add the remaining potatoes and gently toss. You may want to move the mixture to a larger bowl to mix thoroughly.

After transferring to the serving bowl, sprinkle with the rest of the chives.


Slow Yellow Curry Split Pea Soup

Inspired by visit to Maggie’s Place in New York City this winter, I created an alternate to my favorite slow cooker split pea soup. I had used Mae Ploy’s Yellow Curry Paste several times in other dishes so I already had a container, a little bit goes a long way. My usual split pea soup recipe has chopped ham in it. I didn’t have any available, but I did have a can of low sodium Spam.

1 package or 1 pound of dried green split peas
1 cup diced pan-fried spam
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup chopped white onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 large tablespoons May Ploy Yellow Curry Paste
32 ounces chicken stock
1 cup water
1 cup milk

In a 5-6 quart slow cooker, layer the peas, Spam, carrots and onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a microwave safe bowl heat the chicken stock and water, about 10 minutes on high. Add the yellow curry paste to the hot stock and water and mix carefully. Slowly pour the stock over the peas and vegetables. Do not mix. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until the vegetables are tender. Whisk in the milk a few minutes before serving. Season with more salt and pepper if preferred.


No picture for this post. No matter how hard I try, a photo of split pea soup always looks bad.

Pork Chops and Rice

I prepared this dish in my apple ceramic baker. The lid has to be soaked for 30 minutes before baking. It keeps everything moist. The instructions included with the ceramic barker included a recipe for pork chops. The original recipe called for cream of mushroom soup, which I exchanged for cream of chicken.

3-4 large pork chops
1 1/2 cup parboiled rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon tarragon

Make an even layer of rice in the bottom of the baker. Place pork chops on top. In mixing bowl, combine soup mix and milk. Add onions, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and tarragon. Pour mix over pork chops and rice. Cover with pre-soaked lid for one hour at 350 degrees.

Nom Nom!

Spring Cucumber Salad

I invented this salad with things I had around the kitchen. I’ve made it twice already.

I made this with Truvia, so if you don’t like Truvia then add 4 tablespoons of sugar.

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour to marinate

1/2 cup carrots, julienned
1 large cucumber, sliced 1/8 inch thin
1 large red onion, sliced 1/8 inch thin
2 green onions, sliced on long diagonal
1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup Aji-Mirin sweet rice cooking seasoning
1 tablespoon dill
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon Truvia sweetener
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Prepare the carrot, cucumber, and purple onion on the mandolin slicer, set to 1/8 inch thin. Use the julienne setting for the carrots. Pre-cut carrots from the store can be used. Slice the green onion on a long diagonal. Place all vegetables in a non reactive mixing bowl.

In a small bowl. Mix the Truvia, dill, salt, and pepper. Add the rice vinegar, Aji-Mirin, and lemon juice to the bowl and mix. Pour the mix over the vegetables and combine with a slotted spoon. Cover with plastic wrap, removing as much air as you can.

Refrigerate for at least one hour, best over night. Swish the liquid through the vegetables as desired. Also great as a relish with frankfurters.

Puerto Rican Rice & Beans

Puerto Rican Rice
8 3/4 ounce Rice, long grain white
5 tsp. Olive oil
4 1/2 oz Onions, chopped
4 1/2 oz Carrots, fine chopped
3 1/4 oz Celery, fine chopped
4 1/2 oz Red Onion diced 1/4″
4 1/2 oz Green Peppers diced 1/4″
1 3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. Black Pepper

Cook rice. Heat oil. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté until tender but not brown (5 minutes). Stir in garlic, sauté 2 min. Add red onions and peppers and saute until bell pepper is just crisp-tender, 3minutes. Add cooked rice, salt, pepper, combine.

Puerto Rican Beans
13 1/2 ounce Kidney Beans
5 tsp. Olive Oil
6 3/4 ounce Onions, diced
1/2 ounce Garlic, minced
3/4 ounce Base vegetarian Chicken
3 1/2 cups Water
2 whole Bay Leaves
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Tabasco Sauce
3 1/4 ounce Cheddar cheese, grated

Carefully pick beans to remove all debris. Cover with water and soak beans overnight. Use enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Drain. Rinse and drain again to remove all rocks. Add recipe amount pressure cooker about 1 hour. Heat oil. Add onions . Cover and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Stir in garlic, sauté uncovered about 3 minutes. Add vegetarian consommé to beans, then add beans, bay leaves, salt, Tabasco sauce to onions. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Mom’s Potato Salad

Mom’s Potato Salad
From the kitchen of Mom

10 or more Brown potatoes, cooked until fork tender
10 Eggs, hard boiled
1 Onion, large chopped
1 teaspoon Pepper
1 teaspoon. Salt
1 Tablespoon Dill
1 + 1/2 cups Best Foods Mayonnaise – Hellman’s is okay
3 Tablespoon French’s Yellow Mustard
Garnish with parsley

Mix all ingredients together, best second day, if it lasts. What can I say, potatoes, hard boiled eggs, onion, and mayonnaise – how could I not like that?

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This isn’t the first time I’ve made Cabbage Rolls.  Once a year, in german class, we would make this and other traditional german dishes (like German Potato Salad).  It had been years since I’d seen a cabbage roll.  For the past year, I’ve been enjoying the russian version of the same dish at my favorite cafe/diner near home.

This simplified version gave me an excuse to get the slow cooker out.


1 large head cabbage
1 egg, beaten
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1 cup quick-cooking rice
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup crushed saltines (about 15 crackers)
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 – 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can (46 ounces) V8 juice
Salt to taste
1 can (15 ounce) Whole white potatoes, sliced in half
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Remove core from cabbage.  Steam 12 large outer leaves until limp; drain well.

I ended up cutting the whole cabbage in half in order to core it.  Steaming the halves softens them enough to separate them from themselves.  I used my bamboo steamer.

In a bowl, combine the egg, tomato sauce, rice, onion, cracker crumbs and soup mix.  Crumble beef over mixture and mix well.

Make this receipe your own.  I don’t like green peppers, so I substituted onions.  I may add some shredded carrot next time.

Place about 1/3 cup meat mixture on each cabbage leaf.  Fold in sides starting at an unfolded edge, and roll up completely to enclose the filling.  Secure with toothpicks, if desired.

Place cabbage rolls in a slow cooker, seams down.  Place potatoes around rolls.  Pour V8 juice over rolls.

The potatoes weren’t in the original recipe either.  I was inspired by a diner hear home that serves the rolls in a broth with potatoes.

Cover and cook for 6 – 7 hours or until the filling reaches 160 degrees.

I cooked mine on high for 4 hours, and low for 1 hour.

Just before serving, sprinkle with salt and cheese or a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Mom’s French Onion Soup

Mom’s French Onion Soup
From the kitchen of Mom

8 Onions, medium, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1 + 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
1 Bay leaf
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons A-1 Steak sauce
2 quarts Beef stock
1/2 cup White wine, dry
Toasted French bread
Swiss cheese, sliced

Sauté onion in butter and olive oil until tender. Add pepper, salt, sugar, and spices, let simmer for 10 minutes. Add stock, let heat through. Add wine, bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Fill bowl, top with bread and cheese. Broil until cheese is melted.

My college roommate Heidi gave me a set of ceramic French Onion Soup crocks.  I still use them.

Makes four servings.