Blissful Hope

A Grad Student's Journey Toward Healthy Eating

Chili January 3, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — Maria @ 7:31 pm
  • ½ lb hot sausage
  • 1 mild chili packet
  • 2.5 lbs ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • ¾ cup diced onion cup up small
  • 2-15 ounce cans dark kidney beans
  • 3-10 ounce cans condensed tomato soup
  • 1.5 tomato soup cans of water
  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2.5 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Brown the meat in a large pot. Drain fat and return to pot. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.


Sugar Cutout Cookie Recipe December 17, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Maria @ 7:04 pm
  • 1/2 cup butter softened (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to cream mixture. Cover and chill for one hour or until easy to handle. Roll out into desired shapes. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 3 dozen.


Italian Special Soup January 5, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — Maria @ 5:51 pm
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons instant beef bouillon granules
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-1/4 (10 ounce package) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 4 cups (8 ounces)  fine egg noodles, uncooked

Cook sausage and onion in 5-quart saucepan until sausage is brown and onion is tender; drain off excess drippings. Stir in water, bouillon, paprika, oregano, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil; stir in spinach and uncooked fine egg noodles. Boil 5 minutes or until noodles are tender. Serve. 6 servings. Soup will thicken upon standing.


Pot Roast Provencal October 18, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Maria @ 5:44 pm
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (~3lbs)
  • pan searing flour
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 1 can peas
  • 3 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp herbes de provence
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) beef broth

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

1.) Dust chuck roast with pan searing flour; pat off excess

2.) Heat oil in large braising pan on medium-high, until oil faintly smokes. Add beef; brown, turning to brown all sides, 8-10 min. Remove meat from pan; set aside. Discard all but 1 tbsp drippings from pan.

3.) Add stew vegetables (minus potatoes) to pan; cook 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 8-10 min. Add tomato paste and herbs. Cook, stirring, 3 min.

4.) Add wine, stirring to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan. Simmer 1-2 min, until almost dry. Return meat to pan; add broth and potatoes. Heat to simmering; cover.

5.) Braise on center rack of oven for 2 hours. Carefully remove lid. Cook 30 min longer or until beef is fork-tender. Skim fat from surface and discard.

6.) Transfer beef to clean platter; season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over beef.

Serves 6


Perfect Roast Chicken October 3, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Maria @ 9:11 pm
  • 1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken
  • Kosher salt/Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
  • 4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into wedges
  • Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic.

Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and potatoes in a roasting pan.

Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.


Pear Butter August 22, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Maria @ 3:30 pm
  • 18-20 medium pears
  • 3/4 cup sugar (or Splenda)
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice

Peel, core, and quarter pears. Put through food processor until it has the consistency of applesauce. Cook all ingredients in crock pot for about 8 hours. Set the crock pot on low heat. Cook time depends on the size and power of your crock pot, and how thick you like it. Note that it will reduce in volume considerably. About the last half hour, remove the lid so it can thicken. Wash the jars in hot, soapy water and rinse, then sterilize the jars by boiling them 10 minutes, and keep the jars in hot water until they are used. Keeping them hot will prevent the jars from breaking when you fill them with the hot pear butter. Put the lids into a pan of hot, but not quite boiling water for 5 minutes. Fill jars to within 1/4 inch of the top, wipe any spilled pear butter off the top, seal the lid and tighten the ring around them. Put them in the canner (or a normal pot with a dish towel on the bottom) and keep them covered with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. Boil pint jars for 15 minutes, quarts for 20 minutes. If you use a pressure cooker, process for 15 minutes at 15 pounds.

Fills 3 pints jars (+ ~ 1 cup extra).

Serving size is 1 Tbsp. –> 21 calories


Banana Cinnamon Pancakes Recipe July 13, 2010

Filed under: Recipes — Maria @ 7:56 pm
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¾ cup egg whites
  • 1 banana, medium (mashed)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ baking powder

Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a pan with nonstick cooking spray.  ¼ cup of batter per pancake.

Makes 6 pancakes
~ 67 calories each