Easy Chicken Chili


Don’t faint ~ it’s actually a NEW post!!!! I needed a long break from thinking about food ~ as much as I love to cook, I do need a break from even thinking about it once in awhile.

Quite a bit has happened since I’ve been gone from the blog. The most important being my daughter got engaged and Mr. Meat Eater was out of work and is now back at work. The wedding date is June 9, 2012, and we are very excited and I’m sure you will get sick of me talking about it in the months to come. As for Mr. Meat Eater ~ he can never fully retire or we will kill each other.

I loved this recipe ~ it’s a bit spicy but not bad and you can always make it spicier if you prefer by adding hot sauce before eating.  It’s easy to make but it needs to simmer on the stove for about an hour so keep that in mind.

Easy Chicken Chili

2 poblano chili peppers, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsps olive oil
2 (14.5 oz) cans zesty chili style dice tomatoes (I used Del Monte)
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken)
1 (16 oz) can navy beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 oz) can beer or 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used beer)
1 envelope white chicken chili seasoning (I used McCormick brand)

Put the olive oil in a Dutch oven and heat. Saute the first 4 ingredients over medium-high heat for 8 minutes or so or until tender.

Add the diced tomatoes and the next 5 ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.

Serve with desired toppings.

Makes 4-6 servings

Happy Cooking!

Brown Rice Casserole

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A fabulous recipe I found on Allrecipes!  I served it with salsa chicken (recipe will be coming) so I left out the chicken the recipe calls for but I did put in the leftover salsa chicken and reheated the next day and it was great.  I imagine the casserole with the chicken added would be a great one-dish meal.

Brown Rice Casserole

1/3 cup brown rice
1 cup water, chicken broth, vegetable broth
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 cooked boneless chicken breasts, chopped, (optional)
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilie peppers, drained ~ use fire roasted if you can find them
1/3 cup shredded carrots
2 cups shredded taco or Mexican cheese

Cook rice using the water or broth according to package directions.

Preheat oven to 350º and grease a casserole dish.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute onion until tender and translucent. Mix in the zucchini, chicken (if using), and mushrooms. Season with the cumin, salt and cayenne. Saute until chicken in heated through and zucchini is browned.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the cooked rice, mixture in skillet, beans, chilis, carrots, and 1/2 of the cheese. Transfer to casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking for 10 more minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly around the edges.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Tortellini with Pesto Dip

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This is a super easy easy appetizer and the dip is spot on with the tortellini.  I am addicted to this stuff!  It’s perfect for a party or even as a side dish on your table.  I found the recipe in a Taste of Home cookbook submitted by Cheryl Lame.

I cut regular wooden skewers in half instead of buying some just for this and it worked out well.

Tortellini with Pesto Dip

4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsps olive oil, divided
1 pkg (10 ozs) refrigerated spinach tortellini
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup prepared pesto
1/8 tsp pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes

On a double thickness of aluminum foil, place the garlic cloves and drizzle with 1 tbsps olive oil. Wrap the foil around and roast in the oven at 425º for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Cool for 15 minutes.

While garlic is cooking, cook tortellini according to the package, drain, rise in cold water. Toss with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the mayo, Parmesan, milk, pesto and pepper. Squeeze the garlic into this mixture and stir until combined.

Thread tortellini and tomatoes onto skewers and serve with pesto dip.

I made all of this ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen skewers and 1 1/2 cups dip.

Happy Cooking!

Savory Cheese Ball


I like having a few recipes that I can turn to for parties that everyone loves and are easy to make.  This one fits the bill.  It’s equally perfect for a party, sports event or just to have in the fridge to snitch a bit from.

I make this the day before servings to let the flavors really meld together.

Savory Cheese Ball

1 (8 ounce) tub onion and chive soft cream cheese, softened
1 (8 ounce) pkg cream cheese
I cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 fresh chives, snipped
1 package dry ranch salad dressing mix
Pecans, chopped or whole

Combine the cream cheeses, cheddar cheese, chives and salad dressing mix in a bowl mixing well.

Shape into a bowl and roll into pecans.

Serve with crackers.

Makes 10-12 (or more) servings

Happy Cooking!

Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole

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Or, rather, MOSTLY not your mother’s green bean casserole.  Paula Deen has taken one of our Thanksgiving must-haves and really turned it into a scrumptious casserole.  Even Mr. Meat Eater took seconds (that’s what I should have had a picture of).  I could have just eaten it and nothing else it was that good.

It’s very easy to make although a bit more time-consuming than the old Campbell’s Soup version.  It’s really delicious so give it a try!

Paula Deen’s Green Bean Casserole

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup diced onions
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups sliced fresh green beans
3 cups chicken broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (2.8 oz) can French-fried onion rings
pinch of salt, black pepper, and garlic powder
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350º.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Boil the green beans in the broth for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions and mushrooms.

Drain the green beans and add to the mushroom and onions mixture. Add the mushroom soup, onion rings, and seasonings to this mixture as well. Stir until well combined and pour into a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish.

Bake for 20 minutes, then top the casserole with the Cheddar and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until the casserole is hot and cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

More Potatoes ~ Cheesy Au Gratin Potato Casserole

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I have a serious addiction to potatoes.  I love them in any form and we have potatoes fairly often.  DH is not a fan but humors me.  I found this recipe on allrecipes and changed it around a bit to suit me and it’s delish!

This recipe is pretty easy even though you will have to make a cheese sauce.  Just take your time and it will work.  I especially love that it makes a small casserole so if you are a small family, it will work perfectly.

Cheesy Au Gratin Potato Casserole

4 russet potatoes, sliced into very thin slices
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsps butter
3 tbsps flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400º and grease a 1 quart casserole dish. I used a 9×9 glass dish.

Layer half the potato slices in the bottom of the dish, top with all the onion slices, top onions with the rest of the potatoes and season with salt and pepper if desired.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in flour and salt and whisk continuously for 1 minute. Stir in milk and continue whisking until the mixture thickens. Stir in the cheese ALL AT ONCE and stir until the cheese melts, about 60 seconds or so. Pour sauce over the potatoes. Cover dish with aluminum foil.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Deely’s Seafood Salad and New Directions

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Well, it looks like meal planning is the most asked for feature so that’s the direction I will take.  I am working on some meal planning tips, how I meal plan, etc., so look for those in the near future.  I will try to incorporate some of the other things asked for as well.

I also thought that I would start posting about making everyday foods like bagels, tortillas, pitas, and my success or failure at it. I am also trying to go more towards fresh foods but there are some things that I’ll never stop using so I am going to try to find healthier alternatives.  I hope you all will stick with me!

Any other ideas, please shoot them my way!

We had a BBQ for DH’s co-workers and some family friends a couple of weekends ago and one of the salads I made was this very delicious seafood salad.    Deely from Food.com (formerly Recipezaar) suggested it to me and it was a HUGE hit at the BBQ.  I took her advice and used fresh shrimp and crab and I would suggest that you do the same.  It’s a very easy salad to make and I know that I’ll be making it over and over.

Deely’s Shrimp and Crab Pasta Salad

Deely’s Shrimp and Crab Pasta Salad

2 (6 ounce) cans shrimp (drained) or 1 cup fresh shrimp, chopped (I used medium size)
1 (6 ounce) cans crab (drained) or 1 cup fresh crab, picked through
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (8 ounce) cans sliced water chestnuts (drained)
3 cups pasta shells uncooked (cooked)
1/2 cup onions chopped
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
salt and pepper

Mix seafood and lemon juice and then combine all ingredients.

Refrigerate over night.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Potato Salad


From, you guessed it, the Barefoot Contessa.  I’ve never made a potato salad that had a dressing ~ I’ve always just added mayo.  I LOVE this potato salad.  It’s simple and delicious and goes with just about anything.  Plus it uses fresh dill which is one of my absolute favorites!

Potato Salad
Barefoot Contessa

3 pounds small potatoes
Kosher salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsps Dijon mustard
2 tbsps whole-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are steaming, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper and refrigerate until ready to use.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper ~ I thought this was way too much salt and pepper so I left it out until I tasted and I found it didn’t need it at all. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Brisket Sandwiches

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I’ve been trying out recipes for a party we are having in August and this is one I tried last week.  The brisket was delicious and not difficult to make.  It just takes quite a bit on time in the oven.  I really enjoyed the sandwiches but the recipe is not really what I’m looking for so I won’t be having it at the party but I will be making it again for our family.  The recipe came from the FN show 5 Ingredient Fix.

Brisket Sandwiches

1 (6-pound) beef brisket, trimmed of fat
1/2 cup BBQ spice blend
4 cups water (1 cup cold, 3 cups hot)
1 tablespoon very finely ground coffee
1/4 cup brown sugar
Black pepper
1/4 cup cider vinegar
Potato or dinner rolls, split

Rub the brisket on both sides with the spice blend, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Put the roast, fatty side up, in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup water to the pan and roast the brisket uncovered for 1 hour.

In a medium bowl, combine the coffee, brown sugar, pepper, to taste, 3 cups hot water and cider vinegar.

Remove the brisket from the oven, pour the coffee mixture over the brisket, cover with foil and braise until brisket reaches an internal temperature of 185 and is fork tender, about 3 hours. Remove to a carving board to let rest.

Simmer the braising liquid in the roasting pan on the stove top, skimming fat and allow to reduce just slightly or to desired consistency. I removed the fat and poured the liquid in a small saucepan and let it reduce.

Thinly slice beef across the grain (I shredded mine since it was so tender it wouldn’t slice). Place meat on a bun and spoon a little sauce over the meat on the bun. Serve. Pour the remaining sauce into a small bowl and serve it with the sandwiches.

Makes 12-16 sandwiches (depending on the size of your brisket)

Happy Cooking!

Summer Salad

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This is such an easy salad and dressing to put together that you can really do it at the last minute.  I find that the pimientos don’t really add anything spectacular to the salad so feel free to leave them out if you don’t like them or don’t have any. This makes a large salad so feel free to cut it down to make a smaller one.

The dressing makes much more than you will need to dress this salad so either make half or less or save the rest for another salad later in the week.  It should last in the fridge for at least a week.

Summer Salad

1 1/3 cups canola oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

2 bunches romaine, roughly chopped
1 bunch red or green lettuce, roughly chopped
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced, then halved
1 (4 ounce) jar diced pimientos, drained
2/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined. Set aside. You can make earlier in the day and store in the refrigerator. Whisk well before dressing salad.

In a large salad bowl, combine all the salad ingredients except the cheese. Dress the salad with the dressing and then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat all salad ingredients with the dressing. The salad may be make ahead up to adding the cheese and dressing and stored in the refrigerator. Just before serving, add the dressing and cheese.

Makes 10-12 servings.

Happy Cooking!