Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Slow Cooker Chili with Cornbread

It's that time of year for slow cookers and comfort food. Lately I find myself racing against the clock and daylight to get everything done in the few hours between work and sleep. After work and the gym, nothing sounds better than a hot shower and delicious meal waiting for you at home. Never mind the fact that I got up at 6am to go to the grocery store to make this before work...the important thing is I didn't have to cook after work.


Slow Cooker
Large Pan
Cutting Board
Wooden Spoon
Can Opener
Measuring Spoons
Measuring Cups

3T Vegetable Oil
2 Yellow Onions, medium dice
1 Red Bell Pepper (or yellow or orange), medium dice
6 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1/4C Chili Powder
1T Ground Cumin
2lb Lean Ground Beef
1 1/2t Salt
1-28oz Can Diced Tomatoes
1-15oz Can Tomato Sauce
2-15oz Cans Kidney Beans, Drained and Rinsed
1/4C Chopped Green Chiles, or Pickled Jalapenos

Heat the oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened. About 8 minutes.

Add garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir to coat the vegetables and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the ground beef and measured salt and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until the beef is no longer pink.

Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker, add the diced tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce and the beans. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until chili thickens. 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.


8" Baking Dish
Mixing Bowls
Dry Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Wet Measuring Cup

6T Unsalted Butter, Melted
1C Cornmeal
3/4C Flour
1T Sugar
1 1/2t Baking Powder
1/2t Baking Soda
1/4t Salt
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1 1/2C Buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Lightly grease an 8" Baking dish

In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl mix together eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots. Pour into baking dish. Batter may be lumpy, and that's just fine.

Bake until the top is golden brown, and a tester comes out of the middle clean. About 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Roasted Salsa

This recipe can be made with the vegetables not grilled, but honestly it's so much tastier with vegetables grilled before hand. Salsa is something I must always have in my fridge, since chips and salsa make me one happy woman. Now, this salsa can be unpredictable in it's heat level. I used a jalapeno, but in this day and age sometimes they can be the most mild chiles there are and sometimes they end up being on the spicy side. This post has been sitting half finished for a couple months now, I didn't have a picture of the salsa so I was waiting to post it. However, since I have been insanely busy lately and haven't been able to cook anything worth posting (in my opinion) I am taking to easy way out and posting this one.


Grill Pan*
Cutting Board

1/2 Red Onion, peeled
3 Whole Tomatoes (Tomatillos if you want to make green salsa)
1 Jalapeno (whole)
3 Whole, peeled Garlic Cloves
2T. Can Crushed tomatoes
Handful Fresh Cilantro
Juice from can of tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a lightly oiled grill pan to medium heat. Place tomatoes, onion and pepper on pan. Grill 10-15 minutes per side, until there is a nice char on the them and the skins are softened. Remove from pan and let cool slightly.

Cut the stem off the jalapeno and remove the seeds. Put everything in a blender and add crushed tomatoes, tomato juice and cilantro. Blend until smooth, and season with salt and pepper.

This will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lasagna Soup

Yes, you read correctly. I received my newest issue of Food Network Magazine, and there is a section on soup for dinner. Ok, so soup for dinner isn't a new idea by any means, BUT these soups are takes on other dishes that have been made into soups. The first of which was Lasagna Soup. I have a strong desire to cook my through these soups...minus the Caesar Salad soup. The next soup in the series is a Philly Cheesesteak soup that I'm looking forward to making. I had originally planned to make it this Thursday and have a couple of my buddies over, but a work event came up so it will have to be pushed to next week. Really it's ok, because this has been shaping up to be on packed week! This season becomes a little chaotic for me with work, lots of caterings and the holidays!

So I changed one small thing about this recipe...ok so I changed it in my head for the next time, but I will share it with you. The use of lasagna noodles is not necessary, frankly they're a little too big to be fully enjoyed and when you cut them up they don't really resemble lasagna noodles anyways. I would recommend using a small shell pasta, since it will act as a little spoon soaking up soup with each bite.

Large Pot
Dutch Oven
Cutting Board
Sharp Knife

Kosher salt
8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (I would use small shells instead)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 onion, chopped
1/2 pound hot or sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh bail, plus thinly sliced leaves for topping
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Ricotta cheese, for topping

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Ass the noodles and cook as the label directs. Drain, drizzle with olive oil and toss.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the sausage, garlic and oregano and cook, stirring and creaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until the sausage is browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes and 1 cup water; cover and bring to a simmer. Uncover and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Stir in the noodles, basil, parmesan and heavy cream; simmer 2 more minutes.
4. Divide the soup among bowls. Top with ricotta and sliced basil.