Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hearty Slow Cooker Chili

I adapted this recipe from many different recipes available online and based off of the food in my kitchen. I really didn't want to have to go to the grocery store!

I used a combination of ground pork and ground turkey, roughly 2 -2.5 pounds and tomato sauce for tomato puree. I also added in some tomato sauce that was left over from dinner the other night. I actually keep a small container of the Chili Seasoning pre-mixed which is handy for assembling this meal!

I browned the meat and combined everything in the slow cooker the night before and stored it, covered, in the fridge. When I woke up I popped the insert into the cooker and set it on low. Volia! Dinner is served!

Serve with my Quick Rise Bread or with tortilla chips!

Hearty Slow Cooker Chili
serves 4-6

2 pounds ground beef (or pork or turkey or combination)
3/4 cup diced onion
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper (optional)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 (10.75 ounce) cans tomato puree (or sauce)
2 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1-2 tablespoons Chili Seasoning

  1. Place the meat in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain grease.
  2. In the slow cooker combine the meat, onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato puree, and kidney beans.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of chili seasoning, stir, cover and cook on low for 8 hours. 
  4. After a while (when you get home from work?) taste it and see if you want it spicier, if so add more chili seasoning.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Simple Chili Seasoning

Keep this chili seasoning on hand to add some kick to a regular meal or to whip up a warm chili dinner! I triple the recipe below and store with my regular spices.

Check out some of my other Chili Recipes!

Simple Chili Seasoning
1 heaping tsp of chili powder, red pepper flakes, paprika, cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp black pepper

Combine above spices in a container with a top and then store in a cool dry place.

Use: Approx 1 tbsp per 1.5 pound of meat. Use more if you prefer it to be spicier. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

M&M Cookies

I ran out of M&M's so I used some chocolate chips too. These are so yummy! One of the kids told me, "These are the best things we have made!" 

If you double the recipe use 3 sticks of butter. If you half the recipe, continue to use the full egg.
When creaming the butter and sugar continue to cream until there are no visible butter chunks.
To ensure the cookies look similar and stay poofy - refrigerate the dough for 1-2 hours or over night! It isn't necessary but does make them look better.

Red’s Ultimate M&M's Cookie
Adapted from So Tasty So Yummy
makes 4 dozen

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 12-ounce package M&Ms, approx 2 cups

Preheat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; blend into butter and sugar mixture. Stir in M&Ms. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and centers are still soft. Cool 1 minute and place on wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry

I suffered an impulse buy a while back and purchased this spice bottle. Generally I don't buy the premixed spices because there is a lot of sodium!

However, the bottle wasn't super expensive and the ingredients would be a pain to gather separately. The ingredient list also did NOT include, "natural spices" or "natural flavor" - whatever that might mean. It also contains 88 mg of sodium per 1/4 tsp.

The ingredient list: salt, garlic, soy bean, coriander, chili, onion, lemon grass, celery seed, carrot, chives, turmeric, citric acid, black pepper, mustard powder, cumin, fenugreek, chickpea, ginger, cardamon.

Note: This is not spicy at all and we added some red pepper flakes.

Thai Chicken Coconut Curry
Adapted from The Gourmet Collection Thai Style Green Curry bottle
serves 3

1 large onion, diced
2 tbsp Thai green curry spice blend
1 pound chicken (2 large chicken breasts)
1 large cubed potato
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup sliced carrots

Stove Top Directions:

  • Saute onion and carrots in oil with Thai spice. 
  • Add diced chicken and saute until brown. 
  • Stir in potato and coconut milk. 
  • Bring to a boil and simmer until cooked. Stir occasionally.
  • Serve with rice

Slow Cooker Directions:
Add all ingredients into the slow cooker. Do not dice or cut up the chicken breast. Stir so everything is coated.
Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 6. The chicken will have a pulled instead of chunky.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rotisserie Chicken Dry Rub

Instead of eating deli meat for lunch we have been making rotisserie chicken! I triple the spice amounts below and store the rub so it is on hand.

If you chill in the fridge it will create nicer slices.

Rotisserie Chicken Dry Rub
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt

Combine above spices in a container with a top and then store in a cool dry place.

Use: Coat chicken until covered, approx 1 - 2 tablespoons for each chicken breast. Drizzle olive oil  on the top and rub onto the chicken. Bake at 400F for 25-45 minutes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Very flavorful! I did not brown the chicken prior to putting into the slow cooker because I was worried that it would over cook. Would I make this again? Maybe. If I did - I would prepare it differently. I didn't think the slow cooker aspect was necessary. As the slow cooker only needs 4 hours (at a maximum), it is tough to start when you would normally be at work.

If I was trying to save time, next time, I would make the sauce the night before and clean and cut the chicken up. Then that evening I would fry/brown/crisp the chicken while the rice was cooking.

But the flavors were great and we did finish it off quickly!

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
Adapted from The Recipe Critic
Serves 4

3-4 boneless chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces (approx 2 pounds)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
¾ cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoon brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon garlic
pinch of pepper
Sesame seeds (optional)
Scallion, sliced (optional)
  1. In the crock pot bowl mix the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, marmalade, brown sugar, salt and pepper. 
  2. In a ziplock bag, add the cornstarch and chicken. Shake to coat. 
  3. Add chicken to the crock pot OR Pour vegetable oil in the skillet and brown the sides of the covered chicken. The chicken doesn't need to be fully cooked since it is going in the crockpot.
  4. Add chicken into crockpot with the sauce mixture. 
  5. Stir.
  6. Cook on low 4-5 hours or high 2-3 hours.
  7. To serve, sprinkle with sliced scallion and a handful of sesame seeds!