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March 31st, 2009
by: Blue

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Smoked brisket soup

May 27th, 2016
by: Sue

I created this soup from leftovers and some fresh things and is so delicious I’m recording it for posterity.

3/4 pound sliced smoked brisket, cut into one inch square pieces
One pint homemade chicken stock
One can diced Kirkland tomatoes
Two stalks celery diced
One half red onion diced
Two roasted green chiles diced
One large turnip rough diced
One cup home cooked pinto beans
One half cup frozen corn

Combine all ingredients into sauce pan. Cook over very low heat for 20-30 minutes. Simmer only don’t boil. Enjoy!

Creamy Avocado Salad Dressing/Dip

April 29th, 2016
by: Blue

This dressing is the BOMB! I’m trying to detox my diet and eat clean, including limiting dairy and starchy foods.  I’m eating a lot of salads and have been using various oils and vinegars as dressing.  Which is great but sometimes a girl wants a thick, creamy, luscious salad dressing.  I threw this together, first without the avocado – and the dressing was watery, thinner than I wanted, and just kinda blah.  I decided to add the avocado and VOILA! It is the holy grail of heart-healthy/low carb salad dressings.   Put it on anything or everything!  Eat it with a spoon! Use it as a dip!  Or hair conditioner (only 1/2 kidding, it would probably be a great hair conditioner). You may want to slather this all over and roll in it (but PLEASE don’t use it as a lube – just.  don’t go there.) If you’re not familiar with veganaise, I buy the Follow Your Heart brand, it’s fabulous and dairy free.

1/2 c vegenaise (or sub a decent mayo, I highly recommend Duke’s which is sugar free)

1/2 c almond milk

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)

1 tablespoon Wocestershire (organic, vegan, regular – whatever you wish)

1/2 – 1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 large avocado


Throw it all in a blender/food processer and blend until thick and creamy.  Do the happy dance, because your mouth is about to rejoice.

Cranberry walnut bread

October 30th, 2015
by: Sue

Cranberry Walnut Bread
Yield: Makes 2 LoavesPrep Time: 3 hrsCook Time: 30 – 35 mins
A pretty holiday inspired bread that both freezes and toasts really well.

1/2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Lukewarm water
2 Cups Unbleached, All-purpose Flour
3 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Cups Water (Approximate)
1 Teaspoon Instant Yeast
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
Zest From 1 Orange
1 1/2 Cups Dried Cranberries
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Walnuts

For the biga, Mix the yeast and water together, and then slowly start adding the flour, mixing well.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for up to 6 hours and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, take 1 cup of the biga (refrigerate rest for another project) and mix together with the flours, salt, cinnamon, orange zest, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl.
Begin to add water, stirring as you go and add as much water as is needed to bring everything together into a fairly firm dough.
Stir in the walnuts and cranberries, then dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes until smooth.
Lightly oil a large bowl and then place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
Let the dough rise in a warm place in your kitchen until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Share each ball of dough into an oval loaf and place each on a cornmeal dusted baking sheet.
Cover the loaves with a kitchen towel and let rest 30 minutes.
Cut three slashes into each loaf with a sharp knife and then bake until the internal temperature of the bread reaches 190 degrees F., about 35 minutes.
Cool to room temperature before slicing.

Ham and Blackeyed Pea Pasta Salad a la Sue

April 13th, 2015
by: Sue

I created this dish today because I had some left over ham I wanted to make into a salad. I decided to add a little pasta into the mix and blackeyed peas because I didn’t have English peas and besides, hey, this is Texas not England.

Cook the macaroni and frozen peas and put the eggs on to boil.

Fill a 3 quart pan 2/3 full of water, and bring to a boil. Add:

1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni or shell macaroni
1 package frozen blackened peas (or if you insist, English peas)

Lower heat and cook on medium low.
Cook about 12 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente and peas barely done.

In a small sauce pan put six eggs, cover with water , add a teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Boil for a minute or two, then put on the lid and turn off the heat. Your eggs will be done in 17 minutes.

While this is cooking, prepare the ham:

2 cups diced ham
2 cups ham chopped in the food processor

Chop the vegetables:

1 sweet onion, fine dice
1 bell pepper, diced
4 stalks celery diced

Make the dressing:

Into a small bowl add then mix together:

1 cup mayo (or 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 cup buttermilk)
2 T spicy brown mustard
1 t. garlic powder
1 T dried Thyme
1 T dried Basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1 T worcestershire sauce
Black pepper to taste
Lemon to taste

Drained the cooked pasta and peas; cool them quickly with cold water then allow them to drain thoroughly.

Mix everything but the eggs together. Peel and halve the eggs, placing them on top of the salad if you can get them to peel cleanly. If you can’t just chop the suckers up and stir into the salad.

Place in covered bowl and chill thoroughly.

This is a work in progress, will tinker with it some more

Rose Wagner’s Chicken Bake

March 15th, 2014
by: Sue

My sister Rose gave me the recipe; I have always loved it and for some reason had not cooked it up for a long time until today when I discovered it was not on Blue Cooks. So here it is: I believe Rose found this recipe when she lived in Syracuse.

Heat your oven to 325 degrees.

Cut up:

1 whole fryer
Blot the chicken with paper towels then salt and pepper the chicken pieces.

Place a dutch oven on your stove top, heat to medium and add:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter

When butter is melted, increase heat to medium high and add chicken one piece at a time using kitchen tongs.

Turn chicken when well browned on one side. Some pieces take longer to brown than others, so move chicken around in pan and monitor the browning.

While it’s browning chop: (while keeping an eye on the skillet)

one medium onion and
one medium bell pepper

Turn the chicken piece at a time to brown the other side. When each piece is well browned on each side, move to a plate. What’s left in the pot is a lovely chicken fond and the butter. Don’t let the butter smoke! Keep the heat where it will brown the chicken but not get so hot it smokes.

When all chicken pieces are out of the pot add the chopped veggies. Salt and pepper them as they cook, stirring frequently. The moisture in the veggies will dissolve the fond and add a lovely caramelly flavor to the dish. Add:

1 cup white rice

Stir, and cook the rice for a minute or two then add:

1 1/2 cups water ( I like to use chicken broth, too)
1 jar pimentos
1 can mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
4 chicken bouillion cubes, dissolved in a little water

Place the chicken on top of this mixture, place the lid on the dutch oven, and put in the oven. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

It will be hard to wait that long because the smell is so fragrant, but be patient!

Remove after the hour and a half slow baking is done, remove the lid and let cool for five minutes.

Serve with a lovely salad and the veggie of your choice.


Today I did not have a whole chicken so I substituted boneless skinless chicken breasts (two very large ones), cut them in half lengthwise and each of those halves in half so I had 8 pieces of chicken. I used some homemade chicken stock made from a whole chicken to try to make up for the loss of flavor from using just chicken breasts.

How to Cook Bacon Naked

September 12th, 2013
by: Blue

Yes, you read that right.  It is possible to cook bacon naked and better yet – do it SAFELY without putting the beans and franks and texas melons at risk.  It just so happens that it’s also the best method possible to cook delicious perfect fuss-free bacon.  Party naked!


Thick sliced bacon – you’re cooking naked with bacon.  Go for the thick meat here.  Don’t compromise, you won’t be happy with the results don’t ya know.


Get naked.  Place bacon in single layer on cookie sheet (make sure it’s a cookie sheet WITH edges as you want to contain the bacon grease).  Place pan in cold over (yes, a cold, not preheated oven) and set the oven temp to 400 degrees.  Check in 20 minutes to see if it’s done to your liking.

That is all, please be joyful in your naked bacon cooking.

Spicy Turkey Soup

August 30th, 2013
by: Sue

While on the Cleanse Diet, I created this recipe to help my craving for Southwest cooking. We love it! I’m making it for the second time tonight and recording it while I can remember ;o).

Get out your big soup pot. Add:

2 T virgin organic olive oil

Heat at medium high until the oil is shimmering and add:

1 pound approximately ground organic turkey

Break up the turkey, and stir often, cooking until the turkey browns and creates a good fond at the bottom of the pan.

Add: 1 onion, chopped
2 cloves elephant garlic, chopped
salt & pepper

Cook until the onion is throughly cooked and adding to the fond in the bottom of the pan.

Add: 1/2 cup white wine

Let wine dissolve the fond and cook down then add:

6-7 cups organic chicken broth , more or less
3 roasted green chiles, peeled and chopped
2 Tablespoons Fiesta Light Chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup frozen green lima beans
1 can white cannelloni beans or other beans of your choice
1/2 head organic cabbage, chopped

Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!

Organic Chicken Thighs with Brown and Wild Rice

August 10th, 2013
by: Sue

I created this recipe to fit within the guidelines of a Cleanse diet I am on. It turned out so good, I’m going to share it. Why it is allowed on the Cleanse Diet: Organic chicken, no dairy, no gluten, no eggs, no cheese, just good food. When the organic version of all ingredients is available that’s what to use to aid in the cleanse.

6 organic boneless chicken thighs

Bring chicken to room temperature, I put bricks on them to press them flat while they warmed so they’ll cook evenly. After thirty minutes under the bricks, I removed excess moisture with paper towels and seasoned them with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Using my 12 inch stainless steel skillet, I heated it up and then I dropped in:

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

When the oil was melted and the pan good and hot, I placed the chicken breasts in the pan, cooking on the skin side first until nicely browned, then turning each thigh to brown the other side. When browned, I removed the chicken to a paper plate and added

1/2 onion, finely chopped, lightly salted

When translucent, deglaze the pan with

1 cup white wine

Bring the temp up and reduce the wine to about half, then add

1 cup organic chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

Add back the thighs, cover the skillet and lower the heat to simmer. Cook for about ten minutes, then remove the lid so the gravy will thicken. After five to ten more minutes, add

2 Tablespoons almond butter

This will thick your gravy nicely.


1 cup Bob’s Red Mill brown and wild rice
2 1/2 cups pure filtered water

Put rice and water into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook approximately 40 minutes or according to the rice package directions.
When done, fluff with a fork, then add:

1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup pinon nuts
1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
salt to taste
1/2 lemon juice and zest
2 Tablespoons almond butter preferably organic and fresh ground

When serving, put a thin layer of the rice on the plate, add a chicken thigh on top of the rice, and ladle on some of the sauce from the chicken.

We had fresh turnips with this, diced and cooked in pure water, then seasoned with a little coconut oil and kosher salt and pepper. But greens of any kind would be wonderful !

Sue’s Iron Skillet Texas Cornbread

November 14th, 2012
by: Sue

Yes, another cornbread recipe. I make a new one up almost every Fall. This one is kind of back to basics Texas fare: green chile, cheese, but cutting down on bacon fat and substituting olive oil. Best I’ve made in a while!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place in 10″ iron skillet:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons bacon grease

Put skillet in oven to heat until piping hot. Keep it hot until the batter is ready.

Whisk together in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup ground yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose white flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder

Drop in:

2 eggs, unbeaten
1 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated fiesta cheese
1/2 cup green chile (spicy preferred by us)
2/3 cup frozen corn

Mix together with whisk.

Pour into piping hot skillet, and bake until crunchy and golden brown (25 minutes approximately).

Cut into wedges and eat.
Good with soup, pinto beans, chile con carne, and cold when you’re waiting for the coffee to brew the next morning.

Gluten free Skillet Lasagne

January 14th, 2012
by: Sue

This skillet lasagne is quick and easy and better than any standard lasagne I have made. I took an America’s test kitchen recipe and altered it to fit my pantry and my gluten free diet, the result is outstanding!

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 slices Wrights peppered bacon, cut into dice
8 ounces smoked sausage, diced
12 ounces corn pasta (lasagne corte)
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan
ground black pepper
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 grated parmesan to top
1/2 cup grated cheddar to top

Empty the tomatoes into a four cup measure; add liquid until it measures four cups (I used water). Heat the oil in a 12 inch high sided stainless skillet, add the onion, salt and cook until the onion browns, stir in the garlic and pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds. Cook in a separate skillet the bacon until crisp, add the chopped sausage, when brown add to the onion mixture. Scatter the pasta over the mixture, add the tomatoes and cover, stirring occastionally, add the wine, and simmer until the pasta is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the parmesan. Dot with heaping tablespoons of the ricotta, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle top with 1/4 cup parmesan grated, and 1/2 cup grated cheddar and put under broiler until cheese begins to bubble and brown. Remove from oven, let stand for 5 minutes then serve with salad.