Old Fashioned Three Bean Salad

Old Fashioned Three Bean Salad

I grew up on Old Fashioned Three Bean Salad and if you’re from the Midwest, I bet you did, too! There’s just nothing like fresh garden beans soaking up all the sweet, tangy marinade!

Old Fashioned Three Bean Salad

Old Fashioned Three Bean Salad

It’s a perfect summer salad for a potluck or to have on hand to fill out dinners or lunches. On a hot day, Old Fashioned Three Bean Salad is so cool and refreshing!

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Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup Instant Pot or Stove-Top

If you grew up in the Midwest or any area with German (or Eastern European) roots, you might have grown up with this hearty & healthy soup. And you already know that Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup is absolute comfort food. A bowl of this will warm you up from the inside out even on the coldest days.

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup

You’ll find versions of Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup all over the Midwest, and just about everywhere immigrants from Germany, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia settled. Every family, it seems, has their own little special touches.

About Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup:

Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup, has, of course, Smoked Sausage & Cabbage, but also has a melange of healthy veggies. There’s usually red potatoes, lots of celery & carrots and of course, onions and garlic. All good, hearty and common veggies – but the kicker is that this long-simmered soup (or quick instant pot version) tastes like so much more than the sum of its parts! All those flavors just meld together with the sausage, broth, and spices into a glorious and hearty meal.

Ever since I got back from Georgia (New & the Old 2017 covers the trip and the Top Ten most popular recipes in 2017) I’ve been making Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup over and over. I can’t seem to get enough. This recipe makes a good-sized pot and freezes well. It’s a great soup to make for a crowd after a winter activity and you can make and stash portions in the freezer if you’re into Food Prep.

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Making Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup:

Some families use a touch of sugar in their Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup and others a little sauerkraut or vinegar. I’m a fan of vinegar, myself. The vinegar just wakes up those flavors and it’s kind of like magic. As far as spicing, there’s usually white pepper and/or black, celery seed and/or caraway and sometimes garlic. Me, I hedge my bets and use a little of each of the black pepper and white, and a little of each of the celery and caraway. And lots of garlic! Caraway is a strong, distinctive spice, a seed, and is often in cole-slaw, too. If you’ve never had it before, use a light hand with it until you see if you like the taste. Recently I’ve seen a lot of recipes for Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup that use Italian Seasoning (I’m just sayin’ so wrong, but if you like it, go for it. It’s your soup!)

Sausages can be varied; I’ve always used Smoked or Kielbasa, but my favorite pot of soup this year was made with Smoked Jalapeno Sausage. It was a mistake, really, but a fantastic one! I had it in the freezer and had thawed it out and didn’t notice what kind of sausage it was until I took it out to slice. I would highly recommend that Smoked Jalapeno Sausage for a little non-traditional twist. I’d say to stay away from any of the turkey sausages – they just aren’t great in this soup or in many long cooked recipes.

In the past, I’ve usually made Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup on the stove top in my big Dutch oven, and sometimes I made it in the slow cooker (I think it’s best on high for 3 to 4 hours but if you’re working all day, it’s still ok done on low for 8 or so.) It wasn’t long, though, before the Instant Pot got involved! Just a few hints for when you’re making Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup in the slow cooker or Instant Pot: follow the instructions for the slicing as closely as possible so everything cooks up just right. If the sausage is too thin, the texture will suffer and if the potatoes are too small, they won’t stand up to either the pressure cooking or the long cooking time in the slow cooker.

Saving Money on Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup:

I have just a few shopping tips: Look for any Smoked Sausage on sale and use coupons. You can pick it up for a song, so follow the coupon matching site for your store. Smoked Sausage can stay in the fridge for weeks, freezes well and doesn’t take a lot of room. Stock up, particularly in the fall when it’s usually at a low.

The rest of the ingredients are generally always inexpensive. Check Aldi for the best prices if you have one nearby, on the potatoes and carrots. I’ve noticed that sometimes Aldi doesn’t carry cabbage. If you don’t buy at Aldi, generally the larger packages of carrots and potatoes are cheaper. I tend to use any of the oddly shaped ones in things like soup and save the larger, more uniform ones for a side or if potatoes, for baking. Watch the prices on cabbage, by the way, and whether or not the pricing is per head or per pound. If your not careful, you can end up with a pricey head of cabbage.

Serve your Smoked Sausage and Cabbage Soup with a good hearty bread, and if you like the dark bread like pumpernickel or rye, you can’t go wrong with either. I like to make my easy, overnight Crusty Bread when I serve soup.

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup - Stove-Top

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 package of kielbasa, Polish sausage, or smoked sausage of choice, sliced on the diagonal about 3/8ths inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery or caraway seeds or 1/2 teaspoon each
  • 6 to 7 cups chicken broth
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced about 3/8ths inch thick
  • 3 large carrots, peeled & chopped in smallish dice
  • 1 small or 1/2 head of large cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium red potatoes, peeled & cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt to taste; don’t skimp
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more of pepper or a combination of black and white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar, more to taste
  • Parsley for garnish, optional

In a large Dutch oven, add 1 tablespoon oil and heat to medium-high. Add smoked sausage and cook until golden brown, stirring as needed. Remove and add the onion, using an additional tablespoon oil if needed. Saute until tender. Add garlic and caraway or celery seed and cook for a minute longer, until garlic becomes fragrant.

Add the chicken broth, first about a cup or so and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze, then add the remainder. If you’d like your soup thick, hold back a cup until soup is finished and add it at the end if you’d like. Add the sausage back in along with celery, carrots, cabbage and potatoes, salt and pepper. Give it a stir.

Bring to a boil, then cover partially with a lid and reduce to a brisk simmer. Continue to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender and soup is done to your liking.

Add vinegar, then taste and add more salt, pepper, and/or more vinegar if desired. Sprinkle with parsley if using.

Smoked Sausage & Cabbage Soup - Instant Pot

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 package of kielbasa, Polish sausage, or smoked sausage of choice, sliced on the diagonal about 3/8ths inch thick
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon celery or caraway seeds or 1/2 teaspoon each
  • 6 to 7 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt to taste; don’t skimp
  • 1/2 teaspoon or more of pepper or a combination of black and white pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled & chopped in smallish dice
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced about 3/8ths inch thick
  • 1 small or 1/2 head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium red potatoes, peeled & cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white or cider vinegar, more to taste
  • Parsley for garnish, optional

Add 1 tablespoon oil to Instant Pot and Heat Instant Pot on Saute, High. When hot, add smoked sausage and cook until golden brown, stirring as needed. Add garlic and caraway or celery seed and cook for a minute longer, until garlic becomes fragrant.

Add about a cup of the chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze. Add onion, carrots, celery, and the remainder of the stock (hold back on a cup of the stock if you’d like a thick soup, then add at the end if you’d like) and salt & pepper to taste and stir.

Add cabbage and then potatoes, but don’t stir. Sprinkle the vinegar over the potatoes and a little bit more salt if you’d like.

Add ring to the lid and seal the pot. Cancel the Saute Function and set Instant Pot to Manual Pressure, 4 minutes. When finished, use Quick Release (it will take several minutes.)

Stir, taste and adjust any seasonings, add more vinegar, salt or pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Parsley if using.

Note: this soup goes very fast if you chop as you go; start with the sausage, get it going and then continue. The pot will already be hot when it is sealed so won’t take very long to come up to pressure.

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I’ll be linking up this week at Fiesta Friday #209, hosted this week by Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

 

 


Our Family’s Favorite Tacos

Our family's taco - make with a home-made classic seasoning or with our smokin' chipotle taco seasoning.

Unless you grew up around Mexican food, chances are your first introduction to it was probably the ground beef taco. And maybe you make them for your family – they’re fast, easy & everyone seems to love them from kids to kids at heart. I make a few different kinds of ground beef tacos, but these are our fave.

Our Family’s Favorite Tacos

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Aunt Mary’s Angel Food Cake

Images. They can be seared into our consciousness in a heartbeat, so intensely that it seems they can never be forgotten. Riots, shootings, protests. Senseless death. It can all be a bit much. Overwhelming. Positive images can do the same thing, and I think we need more of them.

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and a Mock Mascarpone Filling

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Grandma's Applesauce Cupcakes with Ermine Buttercream

Grandma’s Applesauce Cupcakes

From my Grandma, who was born in 1897 - the BEST applesauce cupcakes!

Do you have old family recipes that just take you back to childhood? Maybe it’s a photo, maybe it’s the first whiff of them baking in the oven, or maybe it’s that first bite? This is one of those for me…my Grandma Irene’s Applesauce Cupcakes. I’d guess these date back to the 1930’s, at least.

Grandma's Applesauce Cupcakes

Grandma’s Applesauce Cupcakes

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My Grandmother’s Pie Crust

This is an easy pie crust - has vinegar AND an egg! So old, it originally calls for lard, but butter or shortening both work fine.

I might have to clarify on this recipe: This is just ONE of my Grandmother’s pie crusts. She was a great baker of pies. People fought over her pies. Seriously. I chose this very old-fashioned crust for my Sour Cream Raisin Pie because I believe both to be from around the same era. It’s delish, a bit like a shortbread and quite a bit different from the recipes I’ve seen or used.

Sour Cream Raisin Pie, showing my Grandma's Pie Crust

Sour Cream Raisin Pie, showing my Grandma’s Pie Crust

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"Old World" Stuffed Bell Peppers

Old World Stuffed Peppers

Bell peppers with ground beef & rice; it's the unusual spicing that makes these special!

When I mentioned I wanted to make Stuffed Peppers for dinner, my Stepmom reached into the cupboard and pulled out her book – she had three or four recipes, but we settled on this one, on a small handwritten card. I called these “Old World” because of the allspice and raisins, a flavor combo familiar to me from passed down recipes on the German side.

"Old World" Stuffed Bell Peppers

“Old World” Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies - Grandma's Recipe

Date Pinwheels, Icebox

Date Pinwheels - they're crispy on the edges with a chewiness that's just incredible.

These Date Pinwheels were my Grandmother Irene’s recipe. My Mom’s Mom, and of all the cookies our family had at Christmas, these were my favorite. When Grandma thought I was old enough, she let me slice the cookie rolls into coins & I remember how hard I’d concentrate to try to get them perfect!

Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies - Grandma's Recipe

Old Fashioned Date Pinwheel Cookies – Grandma’s Recipe

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Mom's Old-Fashioned Crab Dip

My Mom’s Old Fashioned Crab Dip

Such a classic, easy & quick and great for a party

Simple and good, just minutes to make, perhaps it’s nostalgia, but I love this old-fashioned crab dip. My Mom put this out for just about every holiday party I can remember and I often do the same. It seems sometimes party buffets are so full of hot, ooey, gooey appetizers and lackluster crudites – this little dip fills in the gaps beautifully. Cool, luscious and flavorful, rich without being over the top.

Mom's Old-Fashioned Crab Dip

Mom’s Old-Fashioned Crab Dip

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Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.

Mom’s Classic American Goulash

Goulash - such comfort food! Easy & fast from pantry ingredients.

Goulash is an old American standby dish from pantry ingredients. Wikipedia notes Goulash celebrated its 100th birthday last year, being published in cookbooks as early as 1914. Simple, tasty, cheap and filling, Goulash is familiar to generations of Americans. Talk about comfort food!

Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.

Classic American Goulash sometimes called Macaroni Beef or Chili Mac.

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Wayside Inn Carrot Cake https://frugalhausfrau.com/

Wayside Inn Carrot Cake

Wayside Inn Carrot Cake - a gorgeous carrot cake with a fine, cakelike texture.

I haven’t been posting much on this blog; I stopped in to see my Dad, Chuck and Step Mom, Pat, in early June and basically never left…so for this summer at least, I’ve traded in my city life in the Twin Cities for a small town in South Dakota. Quite a shocker but we’re making do and working things through and having a pretty good time as we do so.

Wayside Inn Carrot Cake

Wayside Inn Carrot Cake

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Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf

Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf – A favorite!

I seem to be getting nostalgic in my “dotage” and have been leafing through my recipe box; hello, old familiar friends! I had to dust off this Cook’s Illustrated/Pam Anderson’s Meatloaf, long a family favorite – and the best part of all is the sauce. Oh, that sauce! Double it, triple it, bathe in it, I don’t care,  just make the sauce.

Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf

Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf

about cook’s illustrated meatloaf:

This is my “go to” recipe for meatloaf and I’ve been making it for years. It’s always moist and flavorful and cuts like a dream. My son goes nuts over this every time I make it! After all, what’s better than an old-fashioned Meatloaf, potatoes, and your favorite vegetable?

The original recipe had a lot of thyme. We really didn’t care for the way it hijacked the flavor or for the bacon on this, either. The bacon itself was ok, but the way the flavor seeped into the loaf was bizarre. It’s one of those “sounds better than it is” ideas. The instructions are there if you want to go for it.

The original recipe calls for meatloaf mix – I actually like this best made with a mixture of ground beef/ground pork instead of the hard to find meatloaf mix (a third each of ground beef, pork & veal) or all ground beef. The pork adds a lot and keeps it nice and moist.

Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf

Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf

optimize your time when making the cook’s illustrated meatloaf:

If you’re looking to speed along dinner, try baking your meatloaf in little free-form oblong football shapes or use a muffin pan. It cuts the baking time down considerably! I’d go about 30 to 40 minutes for a football shape & 20 to 25 for a muffin shape.

If you really want to maximize your time, double and freeze a meatloaf before baking. Meatloaf freezes very well. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap (let it hang well over the sides), then pack in the meatloaf. When frozen, remove from the pan, use the overlapping plastic wrap to cover it well, then wrap a second time with foil.

Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf

Meat Loaf Sandwich, using our adapted Cook’s Illustrated Meat Loaf

cost-saving tips for the cook’s illustrated meatloaf

From a frugal standpoint, try to eke out two meals from this meatloaf. Meatloaf isn’t “cheap” to make and this one ran about eight bucks with sales priced ingredients. (Warning: it’s so good you might have to fight to set aside a bit.)

My fave way to bring meatloaf back to the table a second time is a meatloaf sandwich: A slice of cold meatloaf, yellow ballpark mustard, lettuce, onion and pickle, and a good slathering of the incredible sauce. It makes me happy just thinking about it. 🙂

You’ll want to make this meatloaf with sales priced ground beef, obs, but shave off a few bucks by using the ground beef/ground pork combo. Ground pork can be hard to find and pricey. Pick up pork loin (for a leaner option) or shoulder (for a moister option) up at a low (89 to 99 cents a pound) cube & pulse in your food processor. It’s the freshest and best tasting ground pork, ever.

Cook's Illustrated Meatloaf

Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf

Print

Cook’s Illustrated Meatloaf – A favorite!

Adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated/Pam Anderson recipe, this meatloaf is the pinnacle of Classic Meatloaf!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk, buttermilk or low-fat plain yogurt (yogurt preferred)
  • 3 pounds ground meat: use meatloaf mix (beef, veal, pork) or 50% beef & pork
  • 2/3 cups crushed saltines (about 16) or 2/3rds cup oatmeal or 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (oatmeal preferred)
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley, optional
  • 1 pound bacon, optional (instructions at bottom of recipe)

Instructions

Glaze:

Glaze has been doubled. Divide into two portions, 1/2 for glazing and 1/2 for serving.

  • 1 1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce (chili sauce is best!)
  • 4 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons cider or white vinegar

Mix all ingredients, set aside. May be warmed briefly in the microwave if your sugar has hardened and doesn’t mix in.

Meatloaf:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add onion and garlic, saute until softened, about 5 minutes; set aside to cool.

Mix eggs with salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco or hot sauce, and your choice of milk, buttermilk or yogurt.

Add egg mixture to meat in a large bowl, along with either crackers, oatmeal or bread crumbs, & the cooked onions and garlic; mix lightly with fingertips until evenly blended and meat mixture does not stick to bowl. (If mixture does stick, add additional dairy, a couple of tablespoons at a time, and continue mixing until mixture stops sticking.)

To make in a free-form loaf: Cover a portion of a wire rack with foil a little larger than the formed meatloaf will be (use a sheet of foil the length of the roll, and width of about 8 inches); prick foil in several places with a fork so excess grease can drip down. Place a rack on a shallow roasting pan lined with foil for easy cleanup. Turn meat mixture onto foil-lined rack and pat mixture into a loaf approximately 9 by 5 inches.

To make in a loaf pan:  Place meatloaf mixture in loaf pan but pat into shape so it has a rather high dome and is flat for 1/2 inch around the edges. This will allow the glaze to cook nicely on top. When the second coating of glaze is ready to go on, you will probably want to pour off any accumulated fat into a can or container, (refrigerate to harden to make it easy to dispose of) which is a messy proposition but worth doing.

For both baking methods:

Brush loaf with 1/2 of the glaze set aside for glazing then bake for about 30 minutes. Remove carefully (I drain grease if using a loaf pan) then gently add the remainder of the glaze without disturbing the first coat.

Return to oven and bake until the loaf registers 160 degrees, about 30 to 40 minutes longer. (1 hour to an hour and ten minutes total.) Cool for at least 20 minutes – it really does make a better meatloaf. Slice and serve with reserved sauce, if you’ve doubled.

To use bacon:

To use bacon on this recipe: Use the foil on rack method of baking. Form loaf, then brush with 1/2 of the glaze. Top with the bacon (going over the short sides across the loaf) overlapping each slice slightly. Tuck any excess under the loaf.

Notes

No need to saute the onions: place oil and onions in a small, microwave-safe container and microwave for about 2 minutes, covered.

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:
  • Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings and most coupon sites alert you to great sales whether coupons are involved or not!
  • Follow my 12 Strategies! Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Sometimes {Heritage Recipes} don’t give you the best bang for your buck when you factor in the nutritional numbers. Just something to think about.

Cook's Illustrated Classic Meatloaf - simply the BEST!



Banana Sheet Cake

Banana Sheet Cake

This is really the best banana cake I've ever had! People go nuts over it!

There’s something about a “sheet cake” that has a charm of its own. It screams out good down-home cooking. When that Banana Sheet Cake is rich, moist, bursting with banana flavor and topped with a (not too sweet) cream cheese frosting, you’ll know it’s true.

Banana Sheet Cake

Banana Sheet Cake

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Beef & Guinness Stew Pies

Beef & Guinness Pies

The BEST Beef & Guinness Stew. One glorious concoction that rides the line between the richness of the stew & the bitterness of the Guinness...perfectly balanced.

This Beef & Guinness Stew is a wondrous thing – a rich, heady stew that rides the fine line between the richness of the gravy and slight bitterness of the Guinness; a stew that balances so closely neither sweet or bitter is detected; instead all melds into one glorious and delicious concoction. Even better, it’s topped off with puff pastry! (If you want to, and I know you do! Or maybe that’s just me?) Let’s just say if you do, you’ll look like a genius when you bring this to the table!

Beef & Guinness Stew Pies

Beef & Guinness Stew Pies

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