Easy Chicken Chili

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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!

Strawberry Cake

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I made this cake for my daughter’s birthday at her request.  Actually, she asked for a strawberry cake so I was unsure whether she meant a cake with strawberries or a strawberry flavored cake.  I went with the cake with strawberries.  I hunted around for a recipe and found this recipe posted by BecR on Food.com .  It is fabulous.

It’s an easy cake to make and it looks like you were working all day.  I made the cake layers from a box but you can make homemade or buy the layers in a bakery.

In the second not-very-good picture, I just wanted you to be able to see where exactly to put the strawberries. I should never be allowed to cut cakes or pies, LOL!

Strawberry Cake

2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
3 tbsps sugar
2 (9 inch) white cake layers, already baked
6 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Make or purchase the white cake layers and allow to completely cool if baking.

Mix the strawberries with the sugar in a medium bowl and set aside at room temp for about 30 or so minutes. Put aside a few strawberries for garnish if you so desire.

Using a mixer on medium, whip the cream cheese and powdered sugar and vanilla until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the cream until it starts to thicken, then increase to high and beat until soft peaks form. Do not over mix.

To assemble the cake: Place one layer on serving plated and layer half of the sweetened strawberries over the top and press gently. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting CAREFULLY over the strawberries to within about 1/2 inch of the sides.

Place the second layer on top and press down gently. Do the same with the strawberries. Frost the sides and top of the cake.

Decorate the cake as desired.

Store in the fridge.

Makes 8 servings

Happy Cooking!

Raspberry Coffee Cake

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I have another recipe for a raspberry coffee cake that involves my springform pan and while it’s not hard to make it seems more complicated than it needs to be.  This recipe takes all the yumminess of that more complicated recipe and makes it so much easier.  I think it tasted better because it WAS so easy.  Try it and see what you think!

Raspberry Coffee Cake

1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened (I used light)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Beat cream cheese, butter, and sugar together until creamy. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and beating until mixture is smooth.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this to the cream cheese mixture at low speed until the mixture is well blended.

Spread into a greased 9×13 pan. Spoon preserves over the top and swirl carefully with a knife. I used more than 1/2 cup preserves ~ more like 3/4 cup.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes or until the cake begins to leave the sides of the pan.

Cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Cut into squares.

Makes 12 ~ 15 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Chipotle Sliders

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I love sliders and I love that you can buy slider rolls in the grocery store now.  These little guys are SPICY so if you don’t like spice, I would skip this recipe.  They are really easy to make, of course, and are equally good as an appetizer or the main dish.

Chipotle Sliders

Burgers:
1 lb ground beef
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, diced
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices American cheese, cut into fourths
8 slider buns
8 slices tomato, if desired
8 small pieces lettuce, if desired

Special Sauce:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp adobo sauce from the can of chipotles

Mix beef, diced chipotles, salt and pepper in a medium bowl then form into 8 small patties.

Grill, turning occasionally, until done to your desired degree of doneness. Top each burger with a square of cheese and let melt slightly.

Place burger son bottom bun, add a dollop of special sauce, lettuce, and tomato, and top bun.

To make the sauce, mix the sour cream and the adobo sauce until well mixed.

Makes 8 small burgers.

Happy Cooking!

Holiday Frittata

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I actually make frittatas for dinner quite often ~ especially when I don’t feel like cooking.  They are very easy, always delicious, and I can use of bits and pieces of veggies in my fridge.  I can also use meat or not depending on how I feel.  This recipe (from allrecipes, I think) is super easy and would be great on a holiday morning.

Holiday Frittata

1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsps butter
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I used mushrooms instead)
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
6 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella (I used cheddar)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

In a frying pan, melt the butter and saute the onion, green pepper, and garlic for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes and parsley and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. Stir in the veggies.

Pour into an ungreased 9 inch pie plate and bake, uncovered, at 350º for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Grilling Pizza

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We LOVE grilled pizza.  In fact, we make it about once a week.  We usually make pepperoni but sometimes we throw on whatever veggies we have on hand.  It’s really not hard to make.  I know the first time I did it, I was convinced the dough was going to fall through the gates and make a huge mess of the grill but it’s never happened.

I use my usual dough recipe ~ Pizza Dough I always make it in my bread machine but I’m sure it would work making it by hand although I have never done it.  I would think that frozen dough, dough from a can, and the dough you can sometimes buy at a pizza place would work as well but I haven’t tried it.

When the dough is done in the machine, I take it out and put it in a greased bowl and cover it with greased plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled.  I punch it down, and take it out of the bowl onto a floured surface and roll it out.  I brush olive oil on the WRONG side of a cookie sheet and put the rolled out dough on it.  I take it out to the preheated grill (Somewhere between 375º and 400º) and slide it onto the grill.

Dough ready to go on the grill:

Dough on the grill:

I close the grill and let it cook for a few minutes.  Using tongs with rubber ends, I check the bottom of the dough every few minutes and when it looks crisp and has grill marks, I carefully turn it over.  Don’t be surprised if the top of the dough bubbles up ~ you don’t have to pop them as they will go away on their own.

The dough after is it turned over:

Now I am ready to add toppings:

I use my regular pizza sauce recipe ~ Super Easy Pizza Sauce I put toppings on in this order:  sauce, cheese (2 cups) and half a bag of pepperoni.  I like to put the cheese under the toppings since it helps them to stick but you can do it in whatever order you like.  It also has to be done rather quickly so the bottom of the crust doesn’t burn.  I may help to turn your grill down a bit.

Toppings on and ready to finish baking:

Close the lid and let it continue baking until the cheese is nice and melted and it looks done.  Here’s the finished pizza:

Using the tongs again, slide the pizza back onto the back of the cookie, let it sit for a minute or two and it will be easier to cut.

A couple of things I have learned along the way:

*Use tongs with rubber ends.  Regular tongs will rip the dough.

*Saute any veggies that you want to put on the pizza.  It cooks so quick that the veggies will still be very crunchy (unless you want it that way, then don’t saute).

*The dough can be made early in the day and put in the fridge until later.  Make sure it has come to room temperature and has risen some before rolling it out.  Cold dough will not roll out ~ it will keep shrinking back.

*Don’t be afraid of trying this ~ my DH and I have lots of fun doing it and we’ve done it enough that we have it down to a science, LOL!

Happy Cooking!

Raspberry~Blackberry Muffins

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This recipe is really just a raspberry muffin recipe but I had about half a cup of raspberries and blackberries that needed to be used up so I put both in.  I don’t see why you couldn’t use any kind of berry in this recipe.  Use 1 cup of berries total whether you are using one type or two or three.  The muffin itself is very tender and the topping is just right.  It doesn’t have too much sugar in it either which is a plus.

Raspberry  ~ Blackberry Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup fresh blackberries

STREUSEL:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tbsps sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsps cold butter or margarine

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy then beat in the egg.

In a small bowl, mix sour cream, milk and vanilla. In another small bowl, combine dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture just until moistened.

Gently fold in raspberries and blackberries.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

For the streusel: Combine flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over muffins.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until muffins test done. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins

Happy Cooking!

Potato Salad

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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!

Herbed Potatoes ~ Barefoot Contessa

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This is such a simple, delicious recipe and one that I’ll be making often.  They also taste great leftover right out of the refrigerator.

Herbed Potatoes
Barefoot Contessa

4 tbsps butter
2 1/2 pounds small white or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
2 tsps kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley, chives, and dill

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven.

Add the potatoes, salt, and pepper and toss. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender when tested with a small knife. Every once in a while, shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning.

Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes. Don’t overcook! Toss with the herbs, and serve hot.

Makes 4-6 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!