We’ve had some crazy busy weeks lately and I don’t see things slowing down until late September… (hopefully).
Since I’m not always sure when Brian or I will be getting home each evening, I’ve been using the crock-pot a lot lately.
As I’ve admitted before… I’m a little freaked out by crock-pots. I just don’t trust them not to burst into flames and burn down the countryside…. Brian thinks I’m ridiculous. Before we got married he lived off of crock-pot meals. He swears that crock-pots are perfectly safe….. I’m not entirely convinced….I still clear everything off the counter before using the crock-pot, but I have to admit it is really nice to come home to the smell of a delicious dinner.
So the other day when I stopped at the fruit stand and they had a huge pile of beautiful, green peppers…. I swear I heard Grandma’s voice… It’s moments like these that I miss Grandma horribly and then feel so blessed to have had the time that we did.
In my family, Stuffed Peppers are either loved or hated… there is no in-between. My Aunt Sheila and I love them… so when Grandma would make Stuffed Peppers Sheila and I would get a call to come over for dinner. I have lied and told Grandma that I hadn’t made dinner yet… taken dinner out of the oven and gone to Grandma’s for Stuffed Peppers. Of course, Grandma has passed, I’ve gone Gluten Free and Sheila has turned vegetarian (and almost gluten-free)….. things have changed, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have my beloved Stuffed Peppers… they just have to change a little too.
Brian was lucky enough to have had Grandma’s Stuffed Peppers a time or two… I’m not sure if he was as excited about the Peppers as I was or if it was the mashed potatoes that he loved so much. Grandma always made mashed potatoes with stuffed peppers… I’m not sure why, considering that we topped the peppers with a tomato sauce….. but it just worked.
I always think of Stuffed Peppers as an Autumn type meal, but summer is really the prime time for garden fresh peppers and tomatoes. I had a bunch of tomatoes from my garden that I needed to do something with….. I don’t know why I plant them. I always end up with more tomatoes than I know what to do with, but every spring I am compelled to buy tomato plants. I decided to make my own homemade spaghetti sauce using Wildtree’s Hearty Spaghetti Sauce seasonings. OMG! It was sooooo good!
I make a few changes from Grandma’s original recipe. I add pork sausage, where Grandma just used hamburger… I often use turkey instead of hamburger too. I also use Wildtree’s Garam Masala Blend… it sounds a little odd, (Ingredients: Organic Cinnamon, Organic Cardamom, Organic Cumin, Organic Coriander, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Cayenne Pepper, Organic Nutmeg, Organic Cloves, Organic Turmeric) but the flavors go together just perfect.
Grandma’s Stuffed Peppers: The New Way
- 1 lb – Ground Turkey (or Hamburger)
- 1 lb – Pork Sausage
- 1 – Onion, chopped (small)
- ½ c. – Celery, chopped
- 1 t – Garlic, chopped
- 1 t – Wildtree’s Garam Masala Blend
- 1 c – Rice
- 6 – Green Peppers
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 lb – Tomatoes
- 1 Tbs – Wildtree’s Hearty Spaghetti Sauce Blend
- 1 Tbs – Garlic, chopped
- 1 Onion, chopped
Mix all ingredients together; roll into balls and stuff into the peppers.
Meanwhile, dice the tomatoes and onion. In a medium sauce pan, combine the onion, tomatoes, garlic and seasonings. Allow sauce to simmer at least 20 minutes. (Or longer if desired.)
Bake at 350* for 1 ½ hours.
Or place in a crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you use the crock pot you could add the spaghetti sauce to the crockpot and allow it to cook with the peppers all day.