Past dinner recipes become kitchen stars for Thompson family

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 01, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Every once in a while, recipes become memories of past dinners with favorite friends or family members such as those featured in my column today.

The Devil's Food Cookies are the newest addition to our lineup of kitchen "stars" but the Sloppy Joes and the Sausage and Beans casserole is so old I can't remember when we first made it.

Please circle an important date for all gardeners in order to remind yourself of a flower exhibition featuring daylilies on display along with informal daylily members teaching you more about this magnificent perennial - Sat., June 7, in the Botanic garden from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. It's FREE and you can use this opportunity to get your daylily questions answered as well as meet the many members of this 25-year-old society who are eager to spread the word why every gardener should have at least a few daylilies, if not hundreds! Even the many daylilies I over-wintered in pots, have sprouted up leaving me amazed how strong these plants are. They were almost neglected except for some watering when there was no rain after a few weeks.

I did manage to buy a few tomato plants and I will add more later. And the new herbs will be tucked in among the daylily beds. This year, I'm going all out on planting more in pots, because the flower beds continue to grow. Hurry up warmer weather - it's been a cold and long winter.

The Thompsons have some type of a bean at least once a week. I think the fiber, as well as the vitamins, are necessary for good health. We grave different types of beans, although the Mikester is pretty set on lima beans or pintos. I made a pot of great white northern beans a couple of nights ago because I like the delicate flavor and they cook so fast. And how about canned beans? We use Bush's Beans or Eden's.

Thompson’s Beans and Sausage

• One 26-ounce can Bush's Original baked Beans

• One 26-ounce can Bush's BBQ Baked Beans

• One can (any brand) 26 ounce can of plain pork and beans-DRAINED

• 1/2 cup catsup

• 1/3 cup brown sugar

• 1 Tablespoon molasses

• 1 squirt of mustard-about 1teaspoon

• 1 package polish sausage-sliced (your favorite-mild or hot)

• 1/4 cup onion-chopped

• 1/3 cup green pepper-chopped

1. Combine first seven ingredients in a casserole dish or crockpot and stir thoroughly.

2. Brown sliced sausage with onion and bell pepper and then add to bean mixture.

3. If cooking in a Crock-pot, simmer on LOW until heated through. If using casserole dish, cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes in oven.

This is really good with a cornbread slice or muffin.

Mike's Sloppy Joes

• This makes 10-12 servings but you can half this recipe.

• 2 pounds ground beef-we like grass fed

• 2 onions-chopped

• 2 green peppers-chopped

• 1 cup chopped celery

• 20-oz. bottle ketchup

• 1/2 cup brown sugar

• 1/3 cup mustard

• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

• 1 teaspoon chili powder

• Salt and pepper to taste

• 10-12 hamburger buns

1. Brown beef and drain any excess fat.

2. Add remaining ingredients except hamburger buns and cook 1 hour in skillet or sauté pan.

3. Serve over hamburger buns.

Kids love this dish and it's really good anytime of the year.

Devil's Food Cookies

Talk about easy and delicious...this is it!

• 1 package devil's food cake mix with pudding in the mix

• 1/2 cup vegetable oil

• 2 eggs

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 1/3 cup powdered sugar

•  Optional: you can add 1 cup mini candy-coated chocolate baking bits into the dough.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix cake mix, oil, eggs, and vanilla with wooden spoon until dough forms.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar.

4. Place cookie balls on ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

5. Bake 10-12 minutes or until set.

6. Cool 1 minute and remove cookies to cooling rack. Cool completely-about 30 minutes then store in tightly covered bowl or canister.

• Optional-one can add the mini chocolate pieces in the dough before forming the balls.

This makes about 30 cookies.

It's time to go outside and hand water all my new sprouting daylilies, as well as the pansies which finally are growing great now that the freezing weather is over. My favorite nurseries are beginning to bring in the spring annuals. I bought a large jar of plant fertilizer and rewarded our palm trees with a good dose!

Have another wonderful week in Parker County and be sure and check out your favorite plant nurseries because things are arriving fast now and you may find some things hard to get if you wait too long. I even saw the most amazing patio cushions the other day and they all matched, something that won't happen in a month or two.

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