Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Simple Turkey Chili

Chili is a staple meal in our house during the cold season. Usually, it's totally Evan's domain. He likes to experiment with different beans and spices and meats. But, he "allowed" me to make chili one day. I decided to try a tried but true route and went with this recipe.

The ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey; 1 small onion, chopped; 1 can (28oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained; 1 can (15oz.) hot chili beans; 1 can (15oz.) mild chili beans; 1 can (6oz.) tomato sauce; 1 can (4oz.) chopped green chilies; 1 packet chili mix; 1 can mushrooms.

Start by dumping all of the canned foods into your crockpot.

The diced tomatoes and tomato sauce...
the mushrooms...
both cans of beans...
and the chilies.
Take the ground turkey and start browning. I like using ground turkey instead of beef in chili because it makes the chili less greasy. But, if ground beef makes your heart skip a beat in your chili, then go for it!
Add the chopped onions to the turkey and brown them together.
Dump them into the crockpot.
Take the chili seasoning mix and sprinkle it on top.
Stir together and then allow the chili to cook on high for 5-6 hours.
Once again, I have failed you all and forgot to take and after picture. My sincere apologies.

This chili was great. It wasn't spicy enough for Evan, so he added extra chili powder to his bowl. I found it to be the perfect mixture of beans and meat. I'm not a bean person, so I don't like my chili to be bean based. We top our with cheddar cheese and sometimes crackers. This would be perfect with the skillet corn bread I posted about yesterday!!!! Evan loves to break cornbread into his chili and stir it around.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Skillet Cornbread

While browsing the grocery aisles on day a few weeks ago, looking for things I've never cooked with before...


Don't you all browse the grocery aisles looking for interesting things to use in your daily cooking life that you've never used before?


Now you think I'm a dork?

Yeah...that's probably true.

Anyway, I found corn meal. Yes, I realize that many of you might already have this as a staple in your homes. And, yes, I realize that some of you may have been making homemade corn bread for years. I hadn't, until now.

I found this recipe in Pioneer Woman's Cookbook. I love this woman. Her recipes make me happy. I decided to give this recipe a whirl and thought I'd share it with you.

1 C. yellow cornmeal; 1/2 C. all-purpose flour; 1 tsp. salt; 1 Tbsp. baking powder; 1 C. buttermilk; 1/2 C. milk; 1 egg; 1/2 tsp. baking soda; 1/4 C. plus 2 Tbsp. shortening. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together. Cornmeal...
and baking powder.
Now, I am going to show you how to make buttermilk. It's super easy. First you need vinegar.
Take one tablespoon of the vinegar and add it to a cup of milk. Stir. There. Now you have buttermilk. Add the regular 1/2 C. of milk to the buttermilk.
I totally forgot to add the egg to my original ingredients picture. I'm so sorry egg. You know I would never forget you on purpose!
Now, add the egg to the milk. Stir together with a fork.
Melt 1/4 C. of shortening. I almost forgot to melt it. I didn't want you to forget. So, go ahead and melt it now.
Ok, back to the milk mixture. Add the baking soda to the milk. Stir.
Pour the milk into the dry ingredients. Stir together until just combined. Add the melted shortening and stir into the mixture.
Good job!
Now, take an oven proof skillet, put it on high heat and melt the 2 Tbsp. of shortening.
Pour the batter onto the hot skillet.
Cook on the stove top for 1 minute. Then take the skillet and put it into your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Viola!!! It's done. Don't worry, the edges should totally be browner than the middle.
I need to warn you--this makes a ton of cornbread!!!! Way to much for our family. Even with all 4 of us eating 2 pieces each, we had so much left over.
We ate ours with beef stew. To be honest, the corn bread was better than the beef stew. (I'm on the hunt for a good beef stew recipe.)
This cornbread is not sweet. Evan doesn't prefer sweet cornbread, so this was right up his alley. However, the taste of this cornbread was phenomenal! It was perfect for our meal and I will definitely be making this again. Probably for chili. And probably when we are having company.

As I've told you a bajillion times, if you haven't already bought Pioneer Woman's cook book, then you need to add it to your Christmas list!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Week's Menu

Monday: Pork Chops with Cider Vinegar Glaze

Tuesday: Simple Turkey Chili

Wednesday: Beef Fajitas

Thursday: THANKSGIVING!!!!
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potato Casserole
Cranberry Sauce
Stuffed Mushrooms
Deviled Eggs
Pumpkin Pie
Pecan Pie

Friday: Leftovers!

Saturday: More leftovers!! :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Zucchini Bread

I love zucchini bread. It is moist, delicious and cinnamon-y.

But, in order to make zucchini bread I have to 1.remember to buy the stupid zucchini and 2.love my family enough to grate said zucchini.

I hate grating. It makes my hands hurt. Am I the only one who feels this way? Do I have early arthritis?!?! I shall ponder this....

The ingredients:
3 eggs; 1 tsp. salt; 3 tsp. cinnamon; 3 C. flour; 1 tsp. baking soda; 2 C. sugar; 1/4 tsp. baking powder; 1 C. oil; 1/2 tsp. nutmeg; 2 C. peeled and grated zucchini. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

I had an ENORMOUS zucchini from a friend's garden that I was using to make some soup and I only needed a little less than half of the ENORMOUS zucchini. Not wanting to waste precious zucchini, I decided that I loved my family enough to grate zucchini and make them bread.

I'm such a good person.

First, you peel the zucchini. I just use a vegetable peeler.
Then you get out this fabulous birthday gift from your mother-in-law. Microplanes are a fabulous kitchen tool that I totally recommend you have on hand. But, please please please be careful. I do not want you accidentally grating your fingers. Ew.
My advice is to hold the microplane (or whatever grater you are using) still and move the zucchini over the blades. That way you are in control.
Now, take the three eggs
the oil
and the sugar and
mix together.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour
baking soda
baking powder
and nutmeg.
Now, take the dry ingredients and slowly add some of it to the egg mixture
and then add some of the zucchini to the mix. Alternate until the dry ingredients and the zucchini is gone.
Mix well.
This will make 2 loaves. Make sure and generously grease the loaf pans. Nothing's worse than bread that sticks to the loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour.
Ta da!!!!
I made this bread at 10:00PM and then completely forgot to take a picture of a slice of the bread on a pretty plate. I'm so sorry. I'd take a picture of a slice of it right now, but my family has already devoured an entire loaf.

This bread is unbelievably delicious. The zucchini is the key to this bread being so moist and fabulous. Seriously, it's my favorite bread. You should definitely make some for your friends and family. They will totally love you more. I promise.