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Sweet & Smoky Chili

1 lb ground meat – browned and seasoned with smoked paprika and chili powder
2 green peppers – diced (sauté if desired)
1 large onion diced (sauté if desired)
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 small can tomato paste
2 cans dark red kidney beans or chili beans
½ cup barbecue sauce (hickory smoked)
½ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp masala ((See link))
2 tsp chili powder
3 tsp cocoa powder
½ tsp cayenne powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
Optional:
1 tsp smoked chipotle pepper sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix together in crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. Can cook on high for 3 hours also…
Serve with cheese & a dollop of sour cream

I vary this recipe almost every time I make it… the tandoori masala spice – while is only a small amount, adds an amazing depth and flavor. today I sautéed the onions with garlic… and I sautéed the green peppers, separately, though… one of them was just in olive oil.. the other was in olive oil and liquid smoke… I added the chipotle pepper sauce today and the Worcestershire sauce… it’s just SO good!!!!!!!! I can’t stop eating it!! and neither can people in my section!! it’s sweet and smoky, but not overly sweet… but you can definitely add whatever spices and stuff you want… like more cayenne, or peppers of the spicy sort…
try it out, and let me know your variations!! 🙂

Repost… Summer Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder

i feel that this post needs to be redone.
1. the link in the original post doesn’t work any longer
2. if you follow the link’s recipe and then go back to mine, you may miss the tweaked steps that i feel make the recipe worthwhile…
so, here goes.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter — BUTTER. DON’T USE MARGARINE… that’s horrible
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 large red potatoes, diced, (not peeled, peeled, it’s up to you – i keep my skin on b/c nutrients baby…)
1 leek, diced (make sure you rinse this REALLY well, you don’t want dirt/sand throughout your entire dish)
1 bag frozen corn
2 cans cream corn (you could keep this out and just use 2 bags of frozen corn, but i feel that it makes the creaminess of the dish)
4 slices bacon
2 chicken breasts – cut into small chunks
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into small chunks
1 cup half and half
5 cups veggie/chicken broth
3 tbsp flour
1/2 cup thinly slivered fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:
cook your bacon to desired crispness, set aside – do not drain pan
take your cut up leeks, onions and peppers and brown them in the bacon grease
set your veggies aside and throw your chicken into the oil…
while that’s cooking, crumble up your bacon
in a large pot, throw the onion and leeks in with the butter and olive oil. i know they are already cooked, but bear with me here…
allow the oil and butter to coat them and then throw the flour in and let cook for 3 – 5 minutes, stirring constantly
add the broth, chicken, bacon and potatoes, bring to a boil. reduce the heat to medium and cook, partially covered ((what is that?!?! i just put the lid on it and stirred it occasionally)) for 10 – 15 minutes until potatoes are tender. then add the corn, peppers, spices, and half and half. cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. throw in the tomatoes and basil and stir. let sit for about 3 minutes.
serve and enjoy! 🙂

Delicious Turkey and Kale Soup

so, the other night – as per usual when i cook… i was trying to figure out what to make…
sometimes i definitely have something in mind…
sometimes.. .((more often than not)) i don’t…
so we had just gone grocery shopping (which means i absolutely can’t go out to eat that night – right?? …sigh…)
i had some ground turkey that was ready to be used (read: not frozen like the chicken i forgot to lay out)
so i browsed some recipes and couldn’t really come up with anything worthy.. i had seen a turkey meatball and kale soup that looked interesting, but it took way to long to cook, so that was out of the question
(i use so a lot… hmmm)
anyways
i chopped up some onions and it ended up being a lot of onion (it was about half a large one) . . . and decided that was too much to throw in with some turkey,
ok… sweet potato — ok, chopped that up and threw it in with the onions that were browning up… (maybe a little olive oil also…)
and of course some garlic – because what meal is complete without garlic??
and i had the turkey going in another pan, i threw some mild smoked spanish paprika on it b/c why not!?
so, i had this stuff cooking… and i just couldn’t figure out what to do with it…
i have some fresh kale and i threw that in the potato and onion mixture…
and was just looking back and forth from pan to pan…
now what??
mix it together?
will that even be good?? or just a big old mess?
hmmm… look through the cabinets… and i have a can of coconut milk.. .
which reminds me, i need to get more… oops
threw that in with the potato mixture while the turkey continued to cook
decided that it was tooooo thick, so i filled the can that the milk was in with some chicken broth and added that to it
and then i threw my turkey in to the mix and seasoned with salt and pepper and a tablespoon of lime juice
AND THEN I DIED AND WENT TO HEAVEN BECAUSE IT WAS SO DAMN GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i don’t have pictures… sorry.
it was tooooo good, and there was hardly enough for us to eat at lunch the next day and it didn’t look as pretty after it had been refrigerated ((still tasted just as good though!!!))
so – it’s definitely something you have to try!!!
if you want it less fattening – i guess you could cut the coconut milk down and increase the chicken broth…
but i’m not sure it will taste as delicious 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ingredients:
1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 large sweet potato – peeled and cubed
1/2 large onion – chopped finely
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups kale – chopped to preference
1 can coconut milk ( i don’t know how large this can is – probably 12-20 oz; i know that’s a large range, but i honestly am not sure, it is, however, the regular size can, not the little one)
the same amount of chicken broth as your coconut milk can
salt and pepper to taste

**Directions**
in a separate pan – cook your turkey and season with the paprika

in a different pan – heat olive oil on medium heat and throw in your onions, wait a few minutes and add potatoes and garlic
cook until potatoes are semi-firm
add kale
cook until wilted
add coconut milk
add chicken broth
stir together and let cook for about five minutes
add cooked (and drained if necessary) turkey
stir together and then add salt, pepper, and lime juice.
let simmer for 5 minutes to let the tastes meld together.

serve and enjoy
this will probably make 6 normal size servings . . . however, i’m not quite certain my serving sizes are normal…

Doenjang-jjigae – Fermented Soybean Paste Soup — MODIFIED… Deliciously

so a few weeks ago, we made this soup.
it was pretty good.
last night i decided to make it again — with some modifications…
you know how i like to modify things…
so . . . . that’s what i did…
IT WAS AMAZING!!!!
SO MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE!!!
🙂
yum

Recipe:

Ingredients:
1 sweet potato – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large chicken breast – cut into bite size pieces
1/2 onion – cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini – cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup snow peas ((these are the flat peas normally used in asian dishes…not to be confused with snap peas, which are delicious too… but i don’t know if they’d work here))
1 red chili pepper chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced ((roughly 4 1/2 tsp)
2 1/2 cups water
**
1 – 20 oz can pineapple chunks
5 tbsp soybean paste
1 green onion stalk – chopped
1/2 cup cashew pieces (dry roasted, not salted)
2 inch bundle of rice noodles… i know that’s not very specific, but honestly – i just grabbed a handful, i think it was 2 inches in diameter and then i broke them in half…
1/2 cup chicken broth – or water
**

combine first 8 ingredients in large pot.
make sure that the water only just covers the ingredients. (if it takes less than 2 1/2 cups that’s fine…)

bring to a boil (should take about 10-15 minutes), add in the soybean paste, green onion, pineapples, and cashews and stir well. cook for another 10-15 minutes… stir occasionally. . . and then add in the rice noodles and broth (or water)… the rice noodles don’t take too long to cook – so let it go for about another 10 minutes so the flavors mix together well

serve and ENJOY!!!

Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts

growing up – brussel sprouts were definitely on my list of most hated foods…

they were usually boiled or steamed (i think) and generally disgusting…

as you get older – things change, and you begin to explore different ways of cooking things…

brussel sprouts came back into light a few years ago… with all these sites saying — i know you hated them growing up by try them this way!!!

and so we did … a couple years ago… tried them roasted and then tried them grilled… no.

still. no.

then i thought i would give them another try…

i found a few recipes and modified/combined them…

and …. it’s SO good!!! husband doesn’t like it so much — but i’m totally in love!!!

here goes:

 

1 lb of brussel sprouts – bottoms cut off and cut in half
4 pieces of bacon
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp maple syrup — REAL maple syrup none of that HFCS crap
enough garlic for your liking
salt to taste

(see super simple list!)

pan fry up your bacon and save most of the grease… you’ll know if you have too much… but don’t get rid of it all (I never said this was a healthy recipe)
set bacon aside to drain
throw in your cut up brussel sprouts and stir around a bit to coat them in that deliciously unhealthy grease… let it cook for about 10 minutes… maybe longer depending on how green your brussels are – (how hard they are)
throw in the cranberries and stir around some more
cut up your bacon and throw that in with the garlic and then pour in your maple syrup
taste it… you know you want to — add some salt if you like…
now… this tastes REALLLY good… it really does… but i was thinking ya know… it needs a little kick… something to sass it up a bit…

on my counter i happen to have a bottle of Bragg Organic Unfiltered Raw Apple Cider Vinegar…
it’s zingy… i thought it might give it the kick i was looking for
BEST DECISION EVER!!! i know it’s not listed in the ingredients — b/c the first time i made this – i didn’t use it… you could also probably throw in some balsamic vinegar or another flavored vinegar and have it taste just as good…

stir around and continue to let the flavors meld together and possibly even brown some of the brussels…
cook until desired doneness

serve.

enjoy

repeat!

Image

Spaghetti Squash with veggie sauce

Ingredients:
1 medium/large spaghetti squash
1 medium onion
1 small red pepper
1 cup fresh broccoli
½ cup fresh basil
½ cup whole black olives
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
2 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c almond milk
1 package shredded cheese – Sargento Italian 6 Cheese Mix
12 oz chicken – cut into small pieces
1 c fresh kale
1 tbsp. olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

preheat oven to 400*F
cut your spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
take a jelly roll pan and line with foil, coat with olive oil, brush both halves of spaghetti squash with olive oil – inside and out
pop into the oven for 35 minutes
there are SEVERAL ways to get the squash to it’s ready point, I just choose this one… it works for me, and it doesn’t leave my veggie mushy inside… nothing worse than mushy spaghetti squash. . . totally ruins the dish.
anyways

 

Pull out your food processor – throw in the broccoli, onion, olives, basil and pepper and chop it up pretty fine
throw your butter in a pan and melt it — and after it is melted throw in your processed paste and garlic.
sauté that up until desired done-ness.
take your kale and toss that into your pan
cook a few minutes more, mainly until the kale is nice and steamed
throw in your flour… stir very well, let cook for another minute or so, lower heat and add your almond milk (or whatever milk you choose to use)
make sure to stir that very well also.
throw in your shredded cheese and stir it up while it’s melting… after it’s melted, add your can of fire roasted tomatoes and stir well…

add in the spices you wish – salt, pepper, this, that, the other… I added some crushed basil leaves (because I didn’t have any fresh)
set aside
cook your chicken to your choosing – I cut mine up and seasoned with a garlic herb seasoning

shred your spaghetti squash into a casserole dish, cover with the sauce, put some chicken on there, and then throw some fresh kale and  broccoli on top

bake at 400 for 10 minutes

Chicken Quesadilla Deliciousness

so, yesterday i decided i wanted to make some quesadillas…
i love my quesadillas.
yesterdays were nothing short of amazing
and i wish i had a picture of them…
but they went into our bellies much to quick to do that… oops… plus i didn’t think i’d blog about them, but hey
i’m bored. . . thus. blog.

let me preface this by saying that i didn’t use 1 lb of chicken… i used a single chicken breast… and i didn’t weigh it beforehand, but it was pretty large… and it was enough toppings for 4 super stuffed quesadillas with the soft taco tortilla shells that i had… i think from Mission
super. super stuffed… but soooooo good

and also — as per norm, i didn’t measure… kind of a visual measurement… throw in what you think you need

1 large chicken breast – cut into very small pieces
1 onion – diced
1 green pepper diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
taco seasoning
1 tsp coconut oil
pace chunky garden salsa
1 tsp sugar
4 tortilla shells (or more)
shredded cheese (i used cheddar)

preheat your oven to 400°F

heat your coconut oil and throw in the peppers, onion, and garlic
season with the taco seasoning and let saute some more.
sprinkle your sugar over that after a few minutes and cook to desired doneness

throw in the chicken

i’m sure you could set aside your onion mixture at this point, however, i just added my chicken to it and it was an amazing mix …

while it’s cooking pour in some salsa… and let the chicken finish up…

spread your tortillas on a baking sheet **make sure to nonstick spray or cover with foil**

fill and then cover with cheese

fold in half and bake for 20 minutes

serve with salsa and sour cream and enjoy heaven in your mouth 🙂

 

 

i served this with some jasmine rice that i made with chicken broth instead of water and then after it was done i added some chopped tomatoes & cilantro

and topped with cheese… cuz i love cheese…

Chili ala T

I don’t have a picture of this… I haven’t made it in awhile.. however, I was searching and searching for it b/c I am going to make it in an hour or so for tonight 🙂
and i’m posting it b/c I almost couldn’t find the version that I wrote down…
now I can find it whenever I need it 🙂

I absolutely love this version of chili…

I created it the first time I ever made chili and someone asked for my recipe so I just guesstimated on the amounts and it works…

mmmm so good…

T’s Chili —

1/2 c bbq sauce

1/2 c brown sugar

1 green pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 small can tomato paste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 lb ground meat (I use chicken or turkey) browned and drained

1 tsp tandoori masala (http://www.whitejasmine.com/tandoorimasala.html — I don’t know where else you might get this… and you can totally leave this spice out… but I LOVE THIS blend!! on TONS of stuff!!)

2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. cocoa powder ((yeah.. chocolate. in chili. love it)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

2 cans chili beans ( I cheat and use Bush’s beans… one can medium, one can hot)

throw your ingredients into a crockpot on low for 8 hours and voila

deliciousness…

it’s sweet and smoky and spicy and mmm… so good!! 🙂

BBQ Chicken in the Crockpot

so . . . i needed something for dinner this evening that i could make quite easily since i worked at 7:30 . . . and i knew d had things planned for tonight… so i knew i wouldn’t have time to actually cook things…and i know it’s summer… kinda…barely… but… the crockpot — painless… and doesn’t heat up the kitchen like an oven does – altho it’s pretty damn cold in my apartment… ALL THE TIME…d keeps it at 72.. which sounds great right?!? but. no, sometimes it’s freeeeezing !!!!!!!!!!
so anyways..
chicken.
crockpot.
recipe.
hmmmm
bbq chicken?? yes!
but most of them called for beer… and right now i don’t have any except the one i’m saving to make beer bread… annnnd i was too lazy (honesty) to run to the store and get some…
besides if i got some, i’d want to drink it… and since i worked tonight i couldn’t.. .(insert sad face)
so i found a recipe that didn’t have any!
yay 🙂
but you know meeeeee, i gotta modify
so here goes:
original:
http://www.sunnysideupsd.com/2012/01/shredded-bbq-chicken/ 

Crockpot BBQ Chicken (shredded)
1/2 green pepper – diced
1 med onion – diced
1 6oz can tomato paste
4 tbsp (which is 2 oz) orange juice
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic – minced ((ummmm i definitely use the pre-minced garlic in the jar… so much easier — that’s 1 1/2 tbsp)
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp honey
1/4 c brown sugar
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
2 pounds boneless chicken breast (i’m sure you could use whatever your heart desires,,, but i don’t like dark meat…) 
mix all ingredients except chicken into your crockpot . . .
stir
add chicken and make sure it is covered…
put crock pot on low,cook for 5 hours… 
after your 5 hours are up – shred your chicken,  –how you do this is up to you… but awhile back when i got my kitchenaid my bestest told me that you could shred chicken with the paddle attachment… or dough attachment, i don’t know what it’s called… and i haven’t tried it until today…HOLY MOLY IT’S SO EASY AND QUICK!!! just throw your chicken in, turn it on (not super high speed) and watch it go — takes a total of maybe 30 seconds!!!
throw back into pot, stir.
serve how you wish…
in a sandwich…
over rice?
or… as i did – over baked sweet potatoes with a sprinkling of cheese on top
HOLY YUMMMM
husband DEVOURED it… seriously he was done with his before i had even finished plating mine… granted i still had to cut up my potato and such… but… he inhaled it… and loved it! 

BBQ Chicken over Baked Sweet Potato

BBQ Chicken over Baked Sweet Potato

Pho Ga – my style

so. . . we had never had pho (supposedly pronounced fuh) before… we moved to Virginia and saw these Pho restaurants EVERYWHERE…
seriously — they are ALLLLLL OVER…
we like to try new things… sometimes…
sometimes we’re very hesitant… and sometimes we do and wish we hadn’t… so it took us a few months to try one of these pho restaurants…
but once we did — definitely one of our best choices!
if you aren’t aware pho is a Vietnamese broth-y soup served with rice noodles, a type of meat (usually) beef, green onions, sometimes cilantro, and garnished with mung bean sprouts, basil, lime, and served alongside hoisin sauce and chili paste or sriracha sauce…
the beef ones are served in beef broth, some restaurants even have their chicken version served with beef broth…
seeing as I don’t like red meat, I always choose the chicken in chicken broth . . . pho ga
but, times are tough financially . . and going out to eat is put on hold…
but I wanted to try my hand at making it . . .
so I researched recipes from foodgawker.com — I love this site btw… definitely my favorite food porn site!
I decided to base my recipe off of 3 different ones, actually 4… but I can’t find the other one that told me to char the veggies!
here are my bases:
http://kitchenconfidante.com/le-creuset-dutch-oven-giveaway-chicken-pho-recipe
http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2013/01/chicken-pho/
http://www.mamamiss.com/2013/05/02/eats-chicken-pho/

when I was shopping I only thought to buy chicken BROTH not stock…
so I improvised… here we go:

Ingredients:
2 cartons of reduced sodium chicken broth
1 onion cut into chunks
2 – 1 inch pieces of ginger
1 carrot – chopped into chunks
splash of fish sauce
1 cinnamon stick

1 lb of chicken breast cut into thin pieces
rice noodles (enough to serve however many people you are serving)
1/4 cup green onions sliced
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts per person
garnish:
thai basil
quartered lime
cilantro
hoisin sauce
sriracha sauce or chili paste
jalapeno – sliced (optional)

cut your onion (SKIN ON)into chunks and throw it along with your ginger and throw them into the oven on broil setting
I put mine in for ten minutes I think, 5 first and then I moved them around and did it another 5 minutes
throw the chicken broth into a large pot, and add the carrot, ginger, cinnamon stick, onion and fish sauce and let boil for about an hour…
I brought it to a slow boil…in my mind this means I started it on a lower setting and just let it boil from there…
while that’s boiling – cook your chicken… in order to cook mine – I sliced it very thin and threw it in a pan with some sesame oil… when it was about 3/4 the way done – I threw in 1/2 cup of water to let it cook slower… and to be super tender. . .
take your rice noodles and begin preparations… I used these:
pho
I got them b/c they said pho on them…
when I do this the next time I will definitely make them a little differently… all I did was put them in some really hot (not boiling) water . . . and let them sit… that’s all it called to do…
next time I will use boiling water… they were a little underdone
after your broth has boiled for about an hour – taste it and make sure it’s delicious…
now here comes the tedious part…
grab a bowl and strain your broth so that all you have IS broth…
and do whatever you want with the veggies…
your broth is still hopefully boiling hot. . . throw it back into the pot, and take your mung bean sprouts and throw them in for a couple minutes… strain them out . . . yeah I know . . . tedious and a crazy extra step…
set them aside. . .
take your bowls and layer in the noodles, sprouts, chicken, cilantro, and green onion… (I definitely layered them wrong… I put the noodles in on top and they should have gone in the bottom… )
ladle your broth in over the n/s/c/c/go…
take your lime and squeeze it into your bowl and top with some basil…
throw some jalapeno on there if you dare…
and top it with hoisin or sriracha depending on your taste… I skip the sriracha, but at one restaurant we went to – they had some sort of chili paste that I mixed with the hoisin and it was amazing…
husband tried it before I did and said it tasted just like the restaurant version!! 🙂
yay!! WIN!!!

pho ga
(the top is before I stirred it up… and obviously the bottom is after it’s been stirred)

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