Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chipotle Chili

I was surprised at how much I loved this untraditional chili...especially since I'm not the biggest fan of chipotle peppers. It's smoky and spicy and pairs perfectly with this cornbread. I made this for my grandparents and they loved it! At least that's what they told me! :) Make it, you'll love it.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 medium sized yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons McCormick grill seasoning
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped, plus 1 tablespoon of the sauce
1/2 cup steak sauce (I used A1)
1 1/2 cups beef stock/broth
1 can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. When the oil starts to smoke, add the bell peppers and onions. Cook until semi-soft. Pour into a separate bowl. Add the beef to the pot and cook. Season with grill seasoning, chipotles, and Worcestershire sauce. Drain any grease. Add the onions and peppers back to the pot in addition to the tomatoes and beef stock. Ladle into bowls and serve!

source: adapted from here

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Perfect Cornbread

The best. Enough said.

1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups milk

Whisk together the oil, butter, eggs, and milk in a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Pour into a greased 8x8 square and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Doubles perfectly for a 9x13 pan.

Recipe from here.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chickpea Chicken Soup

I'm a bit of a soup fanatic. Chop up vegetables, add spices and chicken stock, and you've got yourself a meal that only gets better with time. This soup was a cinch to make. Use rotisserie chicken from your grocery store to speed up the process.

serves 6-8

1 medium-sized onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup zucchini/squash, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more to taste)
1 bay leaf
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
24 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
feta cheese

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Add the spices and garlic. Then add the chicken, chickpeas, and chicken stock. Simmer for 15-30 minutes. Before serving, stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Pour into bowls and top with feta cheese.

source: adapted from this recipe

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you haven't hopped on the brown butter bandwagon, make these cookies and you will definitely be on it. The browned butter adds a nutty, caramelly flavor to these cookies. As an added bonus, there is some good-for-you whole wheat in this recipe. So these cookies are completely healthy. At least that's what I tell myself after eating quite a few!

makes about 40 cookies

1 cup salted butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or spray with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. The butter will foam and bubble. This means that the water is evaporating from the butter. The butter will begin to brown. Once well browned, remove the butter from the heat and pour into a small bowl. Allow the butter to cool for ten minutes or so.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the sugars and butter. Add the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add the flours and stir to combine. Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and stir. Place bowl in the fridge for 15 or so minutes.

Scoop with a small cookie scoop onto the prepared sheet pan. Cook for 10-12 minutes and let cool.

source: adapted from here

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Forget the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and lemon sauce poured on butter and bread crumb coated chicken. This recipe modernizes the old classic. And it is so easy. I made this for my sweet grandpa for father's day and everyone loved it.

Serves six

For the Chicken Cordon Bleu:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half length-wise and pounded (if thicker than 1/2 inch)
6 slices black forest deli ham
1/2 pound thinly sliced provolone cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
garlic powder, to taste
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

For the Parmesan-Dijon Cream Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13x9 dish with cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, panko, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
3. Place chicken in one layer in pan. Add a piece of ham and provolone on each chicken breast piece. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the chicken.
4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through completely and the bread crumbs are golden
5. When the chicken is almost done, melt the 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in the flour, and whisking constantly, cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk while whisking. Stir in the chicken bouillon and salt. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes.
6. Once the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and stir in the mustard, worcestershire sauce, and parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Keep warm. If sauce is too thick, add more milk.
7. Serve each chicken cordon bleu portion with the cream sauce.

source: slightly adapted from this recipe

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Saturday, June 23, 2012

White Texas Sheet Cake

I would take this over chocolate sheet cake any day. Almond extract never hurt anything, and especially not this cake. I frosted this cake with a double batch of my favorite whipped buttercream vanilla frosting.

1 cup butter
1 cup water
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. In a medium saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl add flour and sugar and mix. Then add in the eggs, sour cream, almond extract, baking soda, and salt. Slowly pour in the butter/water mixture. Stir until well combined and smooth. Batter will be thin.
3. Pour into a greased sheet pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
4. Frost with a double batch of this frosting. Add 1 teaspoon of almond extract to the frosting.
5. Cut the cake (into big pieces, the only way to do it!) and top with fresh berries.

source: recipe adapted from here

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad

What's not to love? Bacon, cranberries, gorgonzola and a sweet raspberry vinaigrette.

2-3 romaine hearts, chopped
1 fuji apple, diced
1 package bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup gorgonzola, crumbled
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Add to a large bowl, add desired amount of dressing and toss to coat.


1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor.

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