Tuesday, January 24, 2012

There's no place like home...

Family dinners were a big thing when I was younger. Almost every night we sat down as a family, ate and talked about our day. This would also be the time that my parents would lecture my brother and I on whatever topic was relevant at the time. Now that I am older, I understand the importance of sitting down and having some family time. Both of my parents cook. I love my mom's cooking but when ever my dad cooks it's something I really look forward to because it didn't happen but maybe a few times a month. Now
that I live in a different city it's even more rare. He doesn't cook from books or written recipes but more from memory and how he feels that day. One of the things I've pick up from him is cooking how you feel. Nothing I cook is ever made the same as before. I have a base recipe that I use and add spices and vegetables that might not have been used before. One of my favorite examples of this kind of cooking I do is my dad's stuffed peppers that my brother and I have dubbed Big Jim's Stuffed Peppers (Big Jim is what my brothers friends call my dad). The recipe sounds more complicated than it really is because everything is happening all at one time. It is really a quick preparation and yummy dinner.  So, without further ado…

Big Jim's Stuffed Peppers

1/2 lbs ground beef
Garlic powder
Fajita seasoning
1/4 cup rice
1/4 cup water
2 bell peppers (We use green)
1/2 chopped large white onion
Rotel (Drained)
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Cayenne pepper

Past Add Ins:

1.      Cook ground beef in a large skillet and season with fajita seasoning and garlic powder. Drain and remove from heat once cooked.
2.      Prepare rice as directed on the box.
3.      Wash bell peppers, cut off top (don't throw away) and clean out seeds. In a large sauce pan (must be big enough that peppers will be completely covered when added), boil water and season with salt. Add peppers and boil for about 5 minutes.
4.      Chop 1/2 of a large white onion and the remaining pepper left from the pepper tops.
5.      Grate cheese and prepare all other ingredients that you would like to add.
6.      Add rotel, onion, peppers, rice, cheese, Worcestershire sauce and all other prepared ingredients into the skillet with your cooked meat and place back on low.
7.      Remove peppers from water and place in a baking dish. Fill peppers with the stuffing and top with cayenne pepper.
8.      Bake on 350 for 30- 45 minutes or in a crockpot on low for 5-6 hrs.

Two Meals in One: 
Sometimes there will be leftovers from the filling and that makes for a great second meal. I like to make tacos using corn tortillas with the left overs.


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