I finally found the words that describe why I camp, cook, write, photograph, fish and hunt. They come, frankly, from John Eldredge, author of "Wild at Heart". In his thoughts about the changing of the wild west Eldredge writes:
."...and why I linger here still, letting the old bull get away. My hunt, you see, actually has little to do with elk. I knew that before I came. There is something else I am after, out here in the wild. I am searching for an even more elusive prey...something that can only be found through the help of the wilderness. I am looking for my heart."
~ John Eldredge "Wild at Heart"

As am I, John, as am I.
Bart

Italian Sweet Sausage and Bean Soup/Stew*

This stuff is so yummy I double the recipe and with my son the Marine around here it’s gone in a few days.  Try this with the low sodium broth and then salt to taste.

  • 3 cups (more or less*) chicken broth or stock – low sodium
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion – sautéed until just beginning to caramelize on the edge – this is where they are sweetest.
  • 1 package Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage (or any other flavor but sweet is my favorite)
  • 2 cans drained (and rinsed) cannellini or substitutions can be made with great northern or white navy beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes – Italian seasoned
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or salt substitute – to your liking
  1. Slit the casing on the sausage with a sharp knife and remove the meat. In a medium hot skillet brown the meat until cooked though, mashing and stirring it frequently. I like it to have a little ‘browning’ to the surface. Drain and place in the crockpot.
  2. Sautee the onions; add to crockpot.
  3. Drain and lightly rinse cannellinis; add to crockpot.
  4. Add the entire contents of the Italian flavored diced tomatoes to the crockpot.
  5. Add chicken broth to the crockpot. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the entire contents.
  6. Set crockpot to low and let simmer all day. I found this quite ready to eat after 4 hours on high.
  • Try adding a cup of rice to it about half an hour before serving.
  • You can serve with grated Parmesan on top.
  • *You can add chicken broth or water. Make it as ‘soupy’ or as ‘stew-like’ as you prefer.

Bart

” This plan is way too ingenious to fail for the fourth time ….. “

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Italian Sweet Sausage and Bean Soup

by Bart "Cookie" Gragg

Italian Sweet Sausage and Bean Soup

This stuff is easy to prepare and cook. A great meal that will be ready when you get home. If you don’t want to prep it in the morning, cook the sausage and sautee the onion as directed the night before, refrigerate it and then assemble it all the next morning. It will be ready when you get home.

If you have a U.S. Marine home on leave, double the recipe!

  • 3 cups (more or less*) chicken broth or stock – low sodium -
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion – sautéed until just beginning to caramelize on the edge – this is where they are sweetest.
  • 1 package Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage (or any other flavor but sweet is my favorite)
  • 2 cans drained (and rinsed) cannellini or substitutions can be made with great northern or white navy beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes – Italian seasoned
  1. Slit the casing on the sausage with a sharp knife and remove the meat. In a medium hot skillet brown the meat until cooked though, mashing and stirring it frequently. I like it to have a little ‘browning’ to the surface. Drain and place in the crockpot.
  2. Sautee the onions; add to crockpot.
  3. Drain and lightly rinse cannellinis; add to crockpot.
  4. Add the entire contents of the Italian flavored diced tomatoes to the crockpot.
  5. Add chicken broth to the crockpot. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the entire contents.
    • *You can add chicken broth or water. Make it as ‘soupy’ or as ‘stew-like’ as you prefer.
  6. You can serve with grated Parmesan on top.

Set crockpot to low and let simmer all day. I found this quite ready to eat after 4 hours on high.

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Kickin’ Chicken Piccata

From: http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2011/04/prick-your-tongue-with-chicken-piccata.html   READ the entire recipe through for notes and comments.   Chicken Piccata Ingredients: 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness OR use chicken breast fillets, already thin. They will swell when cooking, but not to worry, go the full 5 minutes on one side and then 4 on the other. […]

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Slightly Healthy, Totally Tasty Green Beans

I went looking for the Texas Roadhouse green bean recipe as people I know are interested in it. I for one think that recipe is okay… well… actually just marginal. And it only gets marginal marks because it at least adds some flavor to green beans. Before you get all up in my grill let […]

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Simple, Easy Fajitas and Seasoned Refried Beans

This recipe makes the simplest, tastiest  fajitas and seasoned refried beans. Remember that the seasonings you end up preferring may be different than these, but this is a good place to start based on taste tastes (well, actually the way the young adults around here pack it away!) But try this recipe as a start. […]

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Easy Beer Battered Onion Rings

Authors note – pictures to follow – we ate all the evidence. People avoid onion rings thinking their must some voodoo involved. Not so. Easy. What you need: Onions – white, yellow or for the best – SWEET onions Buttermilk – 1 quart Flour – 1 cup Beer – 8 to 10 ozs. more or […]

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