3 cups water
1 cup ground yellow cornmeal

Bring water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add cornmeal, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until polenta is thickened. The time varies, depending on whether you like finely ground or coarse cornmeal. Course can take up to 45 minutes. Then it needs to set up, you can leave it it the pan or press into a loaf pan. I like to pour and press into a pie pan sometimes. Needs to cool for up to an hour or until firm. At that point you slice and serve as is or it can be sliced and sauteed, grilled or pan fried. I like to put the slices under the broiler until the edges are golden brown. There are so many things you can do with it at this point; put cheese on it, butter, and sauces or gravies of any kind.

Baked Beans

4 lbs. large white beans (hmmmm wonder how many cups this is?)
4 c. brown sugar
1-32 oz. bottle catsup
1 Tb. salt
2 lbs. bacon or ham, diced

Soak beans overnight. The next morning, rinse and boil for 10 minutes or until skins crack when blown on. Wash again. Put in roaster pan. Add all other ingredients and over with water. Cook in oven at low temp. (300°-325°) Check the moisture and add more water if theya re dry. Bake all day.

Yield enough for a small army.

Country potatoes

6 large potatoes
1 egg
1/3 c. milk
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. each dried thyme, basil, oregano, and chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 c. vegetable oil

Slice unpeeled potatoes into wedges (10-12 per potato). In a small bowl, beat egg and milk. In another bowl, combine flour and seasonings. Dip potato wedges into eggs mixture; dust with flour mixture. Place in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

Rice and Beans
This one is mexican flavored. You can vary rice and beans so many ways, like sausage-italian, etc.

3 cups various beans, mostly red, some black and pintos
2 Tbs. oil
2 garlic cloves
water to within 2 inches of crock pot.

Put all in crock pot and cook on low or high until beans are done. My crock is old and it takes 6 hours on high. When the beans are done, Drain off most water and add 2 tsp. salt.

Add 2 cups cooked rice.
1 30 oz. can tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
2 tbs. taco seasoning
2 cups cooked, bitesize chicken
1 cup chicken broth, if you have it

Stir together,warm through, serve and top with grated cheese.

Baked Beans (no refined sugar)
(Beans and molasses are high in iron, too)

2 c dried navy beans or other white beans
8 c water
2 med.-sized onions
3/4 cup MOLASSES
1-1/2 tsp dry mustanrd

Soak beans in the 8 c. water. Transfer soaked beans and soaking liquid to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently until beans are tender. Drain, reserving liquid.

Preheat oven to 350.
Place whole onions in a 4-qt. ovenproof casserole. Combine reserved bean liquid with molasses and mustard and add to casserole. Add beans. If there is not enough liquid to
come to 1 inch from top of casserole, add water.

Cover casserole and bake for 2 hours. Remove cover and continue to bake 2 hours longer. Add boiling water if necessary to keep beans moist during baking.

4-6 servings

Herb Stuffed Pumpkins

4 small pumpkins (about 4 to 5 inches in diameter)
2 cups whole wheat bread cubes
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. dried thyme or fresh can be used (2 tsp.)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 325°. Cut off pumpkin tops and set aside to use as covers.

Scoop out seeds and membranes. Set pumpkins on a large baking sheet. In a medium bowl combine bread cubes, carrots, onion, broth, thyme, oregano, pepper, salt, parsley, and oil; toss well. Pack tightly into pumpkin cavities. Cover with tops. Bake 45 minutes, or until pumpkin shells are tender.

Note: You can vary ingredients such as sourdough bread cubes instead, or a touch of roasted garlic. You may also sauté onion, garlic and bread cubes a little beforehand.

Homemade cranberry sauce

1 bag cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water, or omit the OJ and use 1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a large pan mix the oj, water, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, add the cranberries, and stir. You need to use a large pan, because the cranberries pop as they cook. After all the cranberries have bursted, stir it real good, and remove from heat. I believe this takes about 5 minutes. Place it in another container, and refrigerate.

Jo's Corn Pudding

3 tablespoons corn starch
2 eggs
˝ cup sugar
1 (12 oz) can of evaporated milk
1 (16 oz) can of creamed corn
1 (16 oz) can of whole kernel corn, drained
1 stick of margarine, melted

Mix well the corn starch , eggs and sugar. Add cream and whole kernel corn and evaporated milk. Mix well. Pour into greased medium size baking dish. Pour melted butter over the entire top of mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Potato skins

Potato skins are not only fun, but nutritious and inexpensive! Russet potatoes are the best to use for making potato skins. Buy a 10 pound bag -- it usually contains more small potatoes and is more economical. If I get potatoes on sale for an extremely good deal, I like cooking an entire 10 pound bag of russets, just for potato skins. We usually enjoy some the night I make them, and the rest go into the freezer for future meals and snacks.

First, wash your potatoes well -- scrubbing with a vegetable brush if you have one -- to remove all the dirt from them. Pierce the skin of each potato with a fork to allow steam to escape. Do not wrap your potatoes in foil. Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees F for 50-55 minutes.

When potatoes are done, remove from oven. When they are cool enough to handle, slice lengthwise. Scoop out the insides, leaving about 1/4" of potato pulp on the skin. Refrigerate insides to be used in other recipes, such a mashed potatoes or potato pancakes.

At this point, you can prepare any of the delicious potato skin versions below:

Simple Skins: Place skins on baking sheet. Brush with melted butter; salt and pepper to taste, add any herbs of your choice and bake at 425° for 10 minutes or until crispy.

Cha-Cha Skins: Place skins on baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle chopped green onions, chopped tomatoes, diced green chilis and shredded cheese in each skin. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Cheese & Bacon Skins: Bake skin at 425° for 10 minutes or until crispy. After removing from oven, add shredded cheddar cheese and sprinkle with cooked, crumbled bacon bits. Serve with sour cream for dipping.

Crab-Stuffed Skins: To the insides of 6 potatoes, add 1 pound fresh or frozen crab meat, 1/2 pound of butter, 1/2 light cream, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons grated onion, and 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese. Fill skins with mixture and top with more cheese and paprika. Bake at 450° for about 15 minutes.

Chili Relleno Skins: Fill skins with diced green chilis. Top with Monterey Jack cheese and bake at 400° for about 10 minutes.

Tuna Melt Skins: Mix mayonnaise with chuck tuna, season with garlic and onion salt, and place in skins. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 400° for about 10 minutes.

Turkey & Avocado Skins: Fill skins with cooked, diced turkey breast. Top with avocado slices and then swiss cheese. Bake at 400° until cheese is melted thoroughly.

Florentine Skins: Cook 1 package of frozen chopped spinach; drain. Add diced sauteed mushrooms and enough Parmesan cheese to bind. Fill skins with mixture and sprinkle with more Parmesan; bake at 400° for about 10 mintues, watching closely.

Mushroom Onion Skins: Saute sliced mushrooms and onion in lots of butter; salt and pepper to taste. Fill skins and top with grated Swiss cheese; bake at 400° for about 10 minutes, watching closely.

Broccoli Mornay Skins: Chop and cook fresh broccoli. Place in skins; top with grated cheese. Bake at 400° until cheese melts and then top with toasted bread crumbs and finish baking.

"HomeMade Living" Frugal -- Warm -- Creative -- Fun Helping SAHM's manage their homes! Vol. 1 Issue 4 - Weekend of March 8, 2002 Published biweekly ©2002 - Brandie Valenzuela --All Rights Reserved Used by Permission

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