February in Maine Makes for Yummy Meals

by Kim Connell

by Kim Connell

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February sure did come in like a storm—gusty wind and single-digit numbers—signifying winter is here. This time of the year always makes me pull out one of the two slow-cookers I own and start combing my cookbooks and Pinterest for new recipes to try, and make the ones I love to share with my family over the years. I thought I would share a few with you. Bon appétit and enjoy!

The Bread

I am certainly a dipper. To me, there is nothing better than literally tearing bread with your family, enjoying a meal, and hearty conversation. This is the easiest recipe and we have loved having it in the refrigerator at the ready! Whether alone or used to dip in your favorite soup or chili, it is one of the easiest and most versatile recipes I’ve come across. I have it photocopied in my three-ring binder but here is the original article.

  1. Begin with 3 cups of warm water
  2. Add 1 1/2 Tbls. of coarse salt and yeast (1 1/2 packets)
  3. Once the yeast activates (gets a little foamy) add 6 1/2 cups unsifted flour
  4. Mix to just blend, don’t knead
  5. Cover loosely, let rise 2-5 hours at room temperature 

You’re ready to bake, but I would always plan ahead because the wonderful thing about this dough is it can stay refrigerated for a week. The flavor is just only going to get better at the end of its shelf life. We have added much to this bread, from a variety of flours to herbs, oils, cheeses, and even chocolate chips!

Baking day
We loved this recipe because you can pull off what you need and leave the rest in the refrigerator. Shape your piece, then let it rise for 40 minutes—sometimes the kids were impatient and it only got 25 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 30 minutes.

One “Maine” Staple at Our Home

Chili

The first slow cooker recipe became a staple when my oldest and pickiest eater returned from a week-long trip from Cow Island as a middle schooler and she said she had the most amazing meal, Chili! This has been the foundation for our chili and it also is photocopied and in my three-ring binder.

My alterations are only 3lbs of meat; I do 1 lb. of beef, pork, and turkey together. I also add a can of kernel corn, 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes, and if I planned ahead I add sprouted beans instead of using canned ones.

Instructions

  1. Brown meats and place in crockpot
  2. Add all other ingredients and stir
  3.  Cover, High for 4 hours, low 4 hours
  4.  Enjoy with any toppings you love

Ingredients
5 lbs. ground beef
1 lg. onion
1 pod of garlic
2 c. water
1 tsp. celery salt
1/2 tbsp. cumin1 can tomato soup
1 (6 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tsp. turmeric
4 tbsp. vinegar
3 tbsp. sugar
1 c. Picante sauce
1 tsp. seasoning salt
1 pkg. chili mix (Williams)
2 cans beans (optional)
2 tbsp. oregano
1 whole bottle chili powder (2 oz. or 4 oz.)

Stay tuned for our other “Maine” Staple

With March around the corner, I’ll be sharing our second “Maine” staple recipe in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day! A hearty soup with a celtic feel.

In Closing

Wishing all a healthy and happy winter. I’m hopeful we will all be able to break bread soon and enjoy a meal together. Please share and tag us in your pictures of your creations and recipes.

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Spring is around the corner!

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