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!

Here Comes Peter Cottontail…Side Dishes

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Sometimes I like the side dishes better than the main course and I have been known to skip the main to get to the sides…even in restaurants.  Here are a few that are perfect for Easter.

Not Your Mother’s Green Bean Casserole

Au Gratin Potatoes

Roast Asparagus with Balsamic Browned Butter

Cream Cheese and Chive Mashed Potatoes

Fruity Tossed Salad

Mixed Veggie Casserole with Cheese

Green Onion Potato Casserole

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls ~ Bread Machine or Not

Barefoot Contessa’s Potato Salad

Honey Glazed Carrots

I hope some of these will find their way to your Easter table!

Happy Cooking!

Blueberry Lemon Tart

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This is such a delicious dessert and I made it as low sugar as I possibly could so I could have a piece.  I don’t think I would use the full sugar next time ~ it’s perfect without.

Instead of the vanilla cookie crust, I made a graham cracker crust using the box directions and I did use the amount of sugar called for on the box ~ but I used 3 very scant tablespoons.  It was probably more like 1 1/2 to 2 tbsps.  The rest of my changes you’ll see on the ingredient list.

The recipe came from Food.com and was posted by TasteTaster.  I seem to be cooking from Food.com alot lately.

Blueberry Lemon Tart

Crust:
35 vanilla wafer cookies, crushed (1 1/2 cups)
1 egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Filling:
1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
4 ounces instant lemon pudding mix ~ I used sugar-free
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel ~ I used grated peel from a whole lemon
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed ~ I used sugar-free

Topping:
2 tablespoons sugar ~ I used 1 tbsp of Splenda blend
1 teaspoon cornstarch ~ I used a heaping tsp
3 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen ~ I used frozen wild blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Crust:
Heat oven to 400º. Lightly spray tart pan with removable bottom, 9×1 inch, with cooking spray.

Mix crushed cookies, egg white and butter until crumbly. Press onto bottom and up the side of pan. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown; cool.

I made a graham cracker crust and followed the directions on the box for a pie crust.  To make a good crust, I take a measuring cup and press it against the corner of the pan like so:

Filling:
Beat milk, pudding mix and lemon peel in medium bowl with electric mixer on low speed about 2 minutes or until smooth.

Chill 5 minutes.

Fold in the whipped topping and spread the filling over the crust.

Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled.

Topping:
Mix sugar, cornstarch and water in 1-quart saucepan the stir in 1/2 cup of the blueberries.

Heat to boiling then reduce heat to medium-low and cook about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes.

Stir in remaining 1 cup blueberries and cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour until chilled.

Spread over prepared tart.

Keep tart in the refrigerator.

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!

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!

Lemon Muffins

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I baked these delicious lemon-y gems quite some time ago and forgot all about them.  They are easy to make and nice and lemony.  I’ve seen this recipe all over the internet and decided it was time to make them and I’m glad I did ~ there is also a recipe floating around out there that uses the same basic recipe (a few differences) and makes a loaf of quick bread.

Lemon Muffins

Muffins

1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest, grated
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces lemon yogurt
2 tbsps sour cream
1 eggs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Glaze
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or spray muffin pan with pam.  Don’t use paper liners as the muffins soak up for glaze if not in liners.

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl mix together wet ingredients.
Pour wet ingredients in to the well of the dry and stir together gently until there are no flour streaks, it’s ok if there are some lumps.

Bake 20 minutes, edges should get just a little brown, test as usual.

While muffins are baking, prepare glaze.

Glaze ~ mix glaze ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves and mixture simmers slightly. Keep warm low heat.

As soon as muffins are removed from the oven poke each one several times with a skewer, then spoon glaze over the muffins, using up all of it.

Makes 12 muffins

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!

Hot Enough For Ya?

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If I heard that question once over the past week, I heard it a million times!  YES, IT IS HOT ENOUGH!!!!  When the temp hits 112º without the heat index added, it’s HOT.

We did not cook much at all over the past week or so ~ neither one of us felt like eating.  Our AC didn’t even feel like it was AC’ing the house.   Actually, just thinking about food made my stomach turn so we just picked all week.  Posts will be spotty until I get back into the swing of things!

Today, it’s in the 80’s and I’m freezing ~ there is just no middle ground with me, LOL!

We love this recipe.  I posted it about 2 years ago and it’s one of favorites and we’ll be having it this week sometime.  You can put it together in a ziplock bag and toss in the freezer ~ I usually do this then pull it out the night before and defrost in the fridge.

We lived in Hawaii for 3 years and I managed to pick up a few really good recipes. Kalbi is one of our favorites and it was my go-to recipe when we lived there. You will need to buy beef short ribs cut flanken-style which is cut across the bones. They will be flat with three pieces of bone at the top. Kalbi is a Korean dish but I added to the name to remind me of the time we lived there.

Kalbi, Hawaiian-Style

2-3 lbs short rib of beef
3/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
3 inches piece fresh ginger, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil

Combine all ingredients and marinate ribs for 4 hours. Broil or barbecue to desired degree of doneness.

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!