Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chili (Cheater)

2 Tbl canola oil
1 med onion- chopped
4 cloves garlic- minced
1 jalepeno- chopped
2 peppers- red/green or both
1 1/2 lb ground beef (or turkey - I typically use turkey)
1 link kielbasa (optional)
1 Tbl each cumin and chili powder
2 tsp each oregano and thyme
2 cinnamon sticks
3 bay leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 dark beer
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can light kidney beans
1 15 oz can dark kidney beans

Heat oil, add onion, cook appx 5 minutes. Add peppers and garlic, cook until soft (not browned). Add beef and cook through - increase heat to high. Add cumin, chili, oregano, thyme, bay leaves and cinnamon. Add beer and deglaze. Add tomatoes and beans with most of the liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30-60+ minutes.

*Remove cinnamon sticks after about 30 minutes

Recipe courtesy of ... Another one that I have had kicking around and have worked to perfect.

So, I have this problem. The problem that I have, is that every, single time that I make chili, I change what I do. No, seriously. The above was what I initially started with. And believe me, it's good. But since then, I have added so many different options. 2 of the most important ingredients that I have since added are: liquid smoke and smoked paprika. They deepen the flavor completely - and I personally like the smokey flavor.  So the above recipe + those two things, is how I always make it.


When I sent tt to the store yesterday, I was not prepared with the list. I was missing half of what I needed. And by missing half of what I needed, I mean I didn't have: kielbasa, jalepeno, cinnamon sticks, or diced tomatoes. So I had to improvize.

I added red pepper flakes and  [generous amounts of] Franks for heat. I had a small can of tomato paste and 2 28 oz can of stewed tomatoes. I minorly freaked out about the flavor (not sure why, because I really wasn't missing that much) so I threw in a beef stock tub (Knorr Homestyle Stock) and Worcestershire sauce and a little extra of the liquid smoke.

So it definitely has a kick [I am always heavy handed when it comes to the hot sauce]; but I have to say, it's pretty gosh darn good. I always find that the cinnamon is the secret ingredient, but now I am not so sure. Either way, this is a quick and easy chili recipe that doesn't need to cook all day.

Enjoy my lovelies!


(Amy Sue's World Famous) Cocktail Meatballs

Subject: FW:
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 09:21:46 -0500
From: "Mosher, Coleen M. -ND" < >
To: "Coleen Mosher" < > 

here is the recipie for COCKtail meatBALLS. They are soooooooo freaking good.  Serve them with toothpicks.

2 lbs ground beef
1 cup corn flake crumbs
1/3 cup dried parsley
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons of dried minced onions

1 lb can of jellied cranberry sauce
1 12oz bottle of chili sauce
2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350
In a large bowl combine first 9 ingredients
(beef, cornflake crumbs, parsley, eggs, soy sauce, pepper garlic, ketchup & onion)
Mix well and ofrm into small balls
Place in a 15 x 10" pan (I just use a pyrex that i would like make brownies in)

In a small sauce pan mik cranberry sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar and lemon juice
Cook over medium heat until smooth, string frequently until cranberry sauce melts
Pour over meatballs and bake uncovered for 30 min.

Recipe Courtesy of ~ Miss Amy Sue

Yes, I had to replicate the actual email that I have printed out in my recipe book... it's just not authentic without the email itself and it makes me happy. Actually, the best one from her is for Spinach and Artichoke Dip, where it's printed from MYSPACE and an old school picture is on the page. But that's a story for another day.

I need to give you a piece of advice: Make these.
That is all.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Leftover Mashed Potato Cakes

1-2 cups Mashed potatoes (cold, best if left in fridge at least overnight)
2 Tbl Grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbl minced onion (I threw a little onion in the fry pan with a teeny bit of butter to soften and brown)
1/4 cup flour
S&P to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Deep frying pan

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. (Note you can certainly add other things here, cheddar cheese, scallions, etc- I chose to use what I had on hand which wasn't much!)

On a plate (or in a baking dish, doesn't matter) combine flour and S&P for dredging.

Heat oil in frying pan over medium heat. Scoop appx 1/4 cup scoops of potatoes (I used an overflowing ice cream scoop) and work it into "patty" form with your hands. Dredge through the flour, and place into the hot oil to fry.

Cook appx 5-7 mins per side, until golden brown. Place on paper towels to drain, then serve.

Recipe was a combination of a few different recipes - I googled "leftover mashed potato cakes" and then read maybe 4 of the recipes, then made up my own based on those.

I really don't know if my mother would embrace these, or disown me for making them. Part of me wants to say she'd be disappointed in me for tampering with her mashed potatoes... but then part of me thinks she would be happy that I re-purposed them. Either way, though, the parsley kills it because she hates parsley and avoids it at all costs. Whoops. O:)

What did you do with YOUR leftovers?!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving Stuffed Mushrooms

Historically, my role at holiday gatherings has been to provide the "Adult Beverage" (we have done Peppermint Martinis, Cranberry Tea Martinis, Pumpkin Pie get the picture). I had participated in other ways previously including bringing the cocktail meatballs (the fabulous Amy Sue's recipe) and one year the unfortunate turn out of HG's Peppermint Bark Fudge - but this year I was tasked with bringing the stuffed mushrooms.

While I have eaten and enjoyed a variety of flavors of these golden stuffed morsels, never have I ever made a stuffed mushroom. SO this led me to the Food Network (obv). I came across Giada's recipe and it was perfect - easy (so I could make them Thursday morning before my trek to the castle) and ended up being so delicious! So, here we go.

First, gather your ingredients (and ipad for instructions... shh don't tell tt). I used Stop and Shop brand breadcrumbs (when you flavor 'em up, no need to spend the extra money on brand name) and the Pecorino Romano that is in bags.

Second, you will start to combine ingredients. Here, you will see the breadcrumbs, cheese, mint and parsley (I probably didn't chop the herbs quite small enough but once they were cooked you couldn't even tell)

Next, add your minced garlic to the bowl.

Add a little EVOO and stir to combine all these ingredients together.

I had a little trouble "stemming" the little white mushrooms without breaking them. After going through a few test runs (thank goodness I got extra!) I finally got into the rhythm. I found the easiest way to do this was to use a spoon and gently wiggle the stems out. I tried to use the mushrooms that were all the closest in size.

Fill the cavities (Missed this photo op!) and drizzle EVOO over the top, then bake.

And Voila!~ when they come out they will look scrumptious and golden brown like this.

Note: I did use a pyrex baking sheet instead of a cookie sheet... I did this mostly because I was transporting them to NY and this pyrex has an insulated carry case, so I thought it would keep them warm..I was wrong, but oh well.  I turned the temp down to 375, and sprayed with PAM spray instead of using oil in the pan.
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or parmesan)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl parsley, chopped (ideally fresh)
1 Tbl mint, chopped (ideally fresh)
1/3 cup EVOO
28 large white mushrooms, stemmed (2 ½" diameter)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400° F

Stir the breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, parsley, mint, S&P, and 2 Tbl EVOO in a medium bowl to blend. 

Drizzle a heavy large baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon olive oil, to coat. Spoon the filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the baking sheet, cavity side up. Drizzle remaining oil over the filling in each mushroom. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through and golden on top, about 25 minutes. Serve.

Recipe Courtesy of ~ Giada De Laurentiis


Sunday, November 18, 2012

HG Diet-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes

Giving major thanks to Hungry Girl for her Thanksgiving recipe ideas for those who are watching their waistline!

Morning, Noon & Night Bites!
These cozy creations ROCK any time of day during the holiday season...

Main-Meal Eats
Make room on the dinner table for these yum-tastic dishes!

« Crazy Glazy Roast Pork Tenderloin

« BBQ Chicken Cornbread Casserole

« Super-Savory Mashed Butternut Casserole and Holiday Harvest Kale Salad

« "Bean There, Stuffed That" Peppers

« Crustless Pumpkin Quiche Supreme and Berry-Good Almond-Panko Tilapia

« Cheesy-Peasy Spaghetti Squash

« Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole


Sweets 'n Treats 
The feast isn't complete without something sweet to finish it off!

« Too-Good Turtle Cheesecake

« Double-Decker Fudgy Cheesecake Cupcakes

« Yummy Crumbly Lemon Meringue Pie

« The King of Choc'-n-Roll Cake

« Upside-Down Pumpkin Pie

« White Chocolate Macadamia Softies

« True Blueberry Pie

As we all know, HG is one of my all time faves. I love love love her personality, and dedication to creating healthy, relatively easy recipes for people on a diet! I have made a number of her recipes and always have been impressed - except for any desserts I've tried. (but I know that my friend Pam has had a lot of luck with them, so maybe it's just me!)
Unfortunately I haven't had the opportunity to try any of these ones out yet... but I will keep you updated as I do... and if you do, comment away!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sugar & Spice (and everything nice) Ricotta Dessert

1/2-3/4 cup Ricotta Cheese (I always use part-skim)
Cinnamon- to taste
1 packet of sweetener (day to day I use Stevia in the Raw, but I find sometimes it's just not sweet enough. For this, I use Splenda)
Slivered Almonds (Optional, but recommended)
Strawberries- sliced (Optional)
(ready for this?!) In serving bowls, combine ricotta, cinnamon, sweetener, almonds, and strawberries if you are using them. Stir all ingredients together until combined (cheese will be speckled with brown because of the cinnamon) - and enjoy.
Recipe courtesy of..... ?!!! I know someone told me about it sometime forever ago... but I have no clue who/what/where/when. So so sorry if you gave me the recipe ;)
This doesn't look all that appetizing when you make it, and I'm sure doesn't sound all that great either - but trust me. Quick, easy, and relatively healthy little dessert! (and even tt likes it)