Food made easy for busy moms.

New Year, New Resolutions January 1, 2012

I know, I have been absent for a while. Summer happened, work happened, life happened. It’s very hard to get back into the groove of things when you get out of the groove. So, being that it is New Year’s Day, my resolution shall be to try to post at least once a week. Key word in all of this is try.

Seeing as how I had foot surgery two weeks ago and can’t walk without crutches for six weeks, it has been rather difficult to feel inspired in the kitchen. Shouting out directions to the hubby has been rather challenging. My one trip to the grocery store was humiliating and rather stressful. Since I can’t keep my foot down for more than 15 minutes at a time, I resorted to the fun electric cart. I felt like a leper in the grocery store. Not only was the hubby totally embarrassed by me and getting rather grumpy, but people wouldn’t make eye contact with me as I would try to get around them in my very cool cart. Not the highlight of 2011 for me. Good thing we are on to 2012.

So, with me gimped out and my husband not really happy in the kitchen, especially when I am around critiquing his every move, I am trying to keep things as easy as possible. A very easy go to dinner at our house is burrito night. This is completely doable for me at this point, of course with some help from the hubby.

Many of us remember the nights when our mom would bust out the taco seasoning packet and get very excited. I liked those nights as much as everyone else, but as I got older I realized how much sodium is in those packets and that I could create a better product with what I have in my pantry. Feel free to add more, or even less of the following depending on your taste buds and heat tolerance. We tend to like things a bit spicy at our house. We use moose in our house, but you can easily substitute ground beef or ground turkey.


1 pound of ground moose, beef or turkey
1 yellow onion diced
1 red pepper diced
1 green pepper diced
1 small can diced green chilies or 1 seeded and deveined jalapeno pepper

Brown meat with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. When the meat is almost cooked through, add onion and peppers. Saute for about 5-7 minutes until the onion is softened.

Add in the following seasonings:
1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper

Sometimes I will add in red pepper flakes if I want some added heat. Smoke chipolte powder is another great addition. Really any of your favorite chili powder based mixes would work well.

Mix the spices into the mix, turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the flavors to mingle. I will usually add in about 1/8-1/4 cup of water, chicken or beef broth, beer, or tequila to the mix to give it some moisture. If you have little ones and are worried about cooking with alcohol, the alcohol will cook off in the process and give it some nice flavor.

Serve with flour tortillas or hard shell tacos. In our house we serve the burritos with saffron rice, refried beans, guacamole (recipe to come), salsa, fresh cilantro, and fresh lime.

It’s a hit every time. Enjoy and happy New Year!


Hamburger Soup or Stew May 4, 2011

Filed under: Beef and Moose,Comfort Food,Soup,What's for Dinner? — alaskafoodmom @ 6:21 am
Tags: , , , ,

My mom would often throw this soup together for my family when I was growing up.  Now I know why it was such a staple.  It’s easy, economical, fast and a real comfort food in the winter.

1 lb ground moose or hamburger
1 medium onion diced
4 carrots diced
4 celery stalks diced
3 garlic cloves chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 32 fl.oz. container low sodium beef broth, prefer free range organic
1 can chopped tomatoes in juice
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce*
1 tablespoon steak seasoning with onion, garlic, pepper, thyme, tarragon, bay leaf or other similar seasoning
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup frozen green beans
½ cup frozen corn

In a large stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat and begin to brown meat.  Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic and salt and pepper to taste.  Continue to sauté until vegetables begin to sweat.  Add in beef broth, chopped tomatoes, spices and Kitchen Bouquet.  Bring soup to a simmer and reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes.  Add peas, green beans and corn and cook until just heated through.

*Kitchen Bouquet Browning & Seasoning Sauce is the secret ingredient that my grandma always used for her roasts, stews and gravy.  It is concentrated vegetable base that gives the meat a very unique flavor that can’t be duplicated with anything else.  Use sparingly, this sauce is very strong.  Can be found in the spice aisle or the prepared gravy aisle of your grocery store.

Variation: Hamburger Stew

Follow recipe above.  After meat has been browned add in 2 tablespoons flour and cook for about 5-7 minutes.  Add in vegetables, 1 cup diced potatoes and continue to cook as above.