Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Buffalo Chicken Chili

It's that time of year! Time to win the Ward Chili Cook-Off! This one is different - special, even. I got it from Rachael Ray during an episode of her show I watched at the gym. I couldn't hear her screeching, so I was able to endure the entire recipe. Also, I took out the beer.

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs ground chicken (or turkey)
2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. smoked sweet paprika
1 bay leaf
Salt & freshly ground pepper
2 c. chicken stock
1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Buffalo Wings hot sauce)
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 15-oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes
Tortilla chips
Crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Place a large pot over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Add ground chicken/turkey and break it up, lightly browning for about 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, paprika and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 7-8 minutes. Add the chicken stock and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.

Add hot sauce, tomato sauce and fire-roasted tomatoes to the chili and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with tortilla chips and blue cheese.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Homesteader Cornbread

I've been looking for this for ages- a cornbread that is moist and delicious with a crisp crust but does not require sour cream or creamed corn (ew!). This was a universal hit with the fam, so it must be shared.

1 1/2 c. cornmeal
2 1/2 c. milk
2 c. flour
1 Tb. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine cornmeal and milk- let it stand for 5 minutes. Grease 9x13 baking pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix in the cornmeal mixture, eggs and oil until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife insterted in the center of the cornbread comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

German Chocolate Cake Topping

I know we already have a recipe for this, but I tried this one and it is so easy and heavenly that I had to include it. Also from King Arthur Flour.

1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Instant ClearJel
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup half and half or milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pecan flavor or pralines & cream flavor, optional
1 1/2 cups shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, toasted
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted
7 1/2 ounces light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Instant ClearJel
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces unsalted butter
4 ounces half and half or milk
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon pecan flavor or pralines & cream flavor, optional
3 1/2 ounces shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, toasted
4 1/2 ounces chopped pecans, toasted

1) Whisk together the brown sugar, ClearJel, and salt till thoroughly combined.
2) Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan; stir in the milk or half and half, sugar mixture, and corn syrup.
3) Bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens slightly.
4) Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, flavor, coconut, and pecans.
5) Spoon topping onto cake.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

This recipe was included in my most recent order from King Arthur Flour.
Kids and cookies go together like… well, like kids and just about anything sweet. Given kids’ affinity for sugar, you might as well temper it with some of the "good stuff"–in this case, oats with their soluble fiber, and whole wheat flour, with its extra vitamins, minerals, and bran. Trust us: the kids won’t know they’re getting anything "healthy" in their favorite cookie! And what’s vinegar doing in a chocolate chip cookie recipe? Ah-HA! Vinegar is our secret weapon. It tempers cookies’ sweetness just a tad, and reacts with the leavener to give them a bit more rise, making them lightly crunchy/chewy rather than hard.

1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) vegetable shortening, trans-fat-free
1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cider or white vinegar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups (7 1/4 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour, organic preferred
1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) quick-cooking rolled oats (or traditional rolled oats pulsed several times in a food processor, to break them up a bit)
3 cups (18 ounces; 1 regular and 1 small package) semisweet chocolate chips, or a mixture of chocolate chips and cinnamon chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, shortening, sugars, vanilla, salt, and vinegar. Beat in the egg, then the baking soda, flour, and oats. Stir in the chips.Drop the dough, by tablespoonfuls, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Note: If you bake the cookies for 12 minutes; they’ll be crunchy around the edges, with a slight bend at the center. If you bake for the full 14 minutes, till they’re almost a light mahogany color, they’ll be crisp/crunchy all the way through. Remove the cookies from the oven, and cool on a rack.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Short Sharp Chops

Nicole also requested some freezer meal recipes. A while back I decided I was going to freeze a bunch of food and never cook again. I wanted something healthier than a casserole, so I was excited when I found this Cooking Light recipe. It fed our family for three meals. (I sliced two pork chops for each meal, rather than give everyone their own pork chop.)

Freezing directions: Combine pork and marinade in a large heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag, and place in freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in refrigerator, cook as directed.

8 (2oz) boned center-cut pork loin pork chops (1/4 inch thick)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup thawed orange juice concentrate, undiluted
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. olive oil

Trim fat from pork. Combine soy sauce and the next 5 ingredients (soy sauce through garlic) in a large zip-top plastic bag. add pork to bag, seal and marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour, turning bag occasionally. Remove pork from bag, discard marinade.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat. Add chops, saute 3 minutes on each side.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Creamy Tomato Soup

As requested by Nicole....this is my favorite from Ginny Callan and The Horn of the Moon:

2 Tb butter

1 1/2 c chopped onion (3 onions)

Two 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (or the fresh equivalent)

Juice of 1 lemon

2 c. water or stock

1 c. heavy cream

4 Tb. flour

1/3 c. minced fresh parsley

1/2 tsp salt

dash pepper

Heat the butter in a fry pan and saute the onions over medium heat, cooking until golden brown. Combine the onions and tomatoes in a soup pot. Add lemon juice and water or stock and simmer on low heat, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix cream and flour together until smooth. Add to soup, and return to a simmer, uncovered. Add parsley, salt, and pepper. Serve hot! Serves 6.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"mah noo bes frind"

Disney's Cars - Mater

we were invited to some new friend's house for labor day. youknow, for labor day food and fun. this girl is quite passionate about cooking. in a way that is not seen often these days. they served us grilled pizza. not carbequed, but grilled on an actual grill with coals under it. the crust was amazing and she has promised to share it, but hasn't revealed her secret just yet. but i told her that i wanted it and would be putting it in this blog. for now i will just share the recipe for her amazing chocolate frosting that covered her amazing chocolate cake.
equal parts chocolate chips and sour cream. melt the chocolate chips. let both ingredients cool and warm to room temperature. combine until smooth and smother your cake. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
you won't be disappointed (unless you do it wrong.)