Sunday, November 8, 2009

Crock Pot Chili Beans

Now that it's getting chilly outside, I'd say it's a mighty fine time for some chili!!! And, what could be better than simmered all day long crock pot chili? Nothing, I tell you ... well, maybe smores.

Whatcha Should Be Needing ... plus a few extras for kick:
  • 1 pound Ground Beef/Chuck
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 1 can Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 can Pinto Beans
  • 1 can Chili Beans
  • 2 cans Mexican Style Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 small can diced green chiles
  • ½ can Water (use the tomatoes can)
  • Salt And Pepper (to Taste)
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder Or One Packet Chili Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons of Worcester Sauce
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded (optional)
  • 1 tub Sour Cream (optional)
  • 1 whole Red Onion, Small, Diced (optional)
  • 1 package Saltine Crackers (optional)

1. Brown the ground beef/chuck with some salt and pepper. Seriously, this recipe is so yummy, yet elementary, it'll leave ya scratching your head.

2. After the ground beef/chuck is browned. Put a nice rough chop on your onions. In chili, I almost prefer to pulverize the yellow onions because I add red onion on top at the end. But, some folks to like big pieces of cooked yellow onion.

3. Add your browned beef/chuck and onions to the crock pot and then top with one packet of chili seasoning. We use hot, but we're crazy fools. Here you can also add about a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper,1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes or cayenne. You can adjust the chili/cayenne to the preference of your family.

4. Now add in your tomatoes and your water. I suggest half a can of water because you'll have all of the juices of the tomatoes and beans, but if you prefer a more saucy chili, just add more water.

5.) Now add in the green chiles and two Tablespoons of Worcester sauce . These two add a super good smell to the dish!!

6.) You could easily stop right here and just have normal red chili. But, the addition of beans is crucial around this household. I usually add two cans of pinto beans and 1 of red kidney. Sometimes I'll even find canned chili beans and I'll use one can in place of one of the cans of pinto beans.

7.) Now put the lid on your crock pot and let it go on low for at least 6 hours. But, really, it could simmer on the stove on medium for about an hour to achieve the same taste. I just like the smell of a hot chili simmering all day in my kitchen. I'm a sucker for good food, I do say.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Thanksgiving Simple Dressing

Every family has "their" Thanksgiving dressing that they declare is the best. Well, my friends, this one is my little family contribution and for us, it's the best. It's savory and simple and goes with pretty much any poultry.

Whatcha Need:

1 lb. package Stuffing Mix (I like Pepperidge Farms)
1/2 loaf bread slices; toasted and torn into small pieces
3 large stalks of celery; diced roughly
1 medium onion; diced roughly
3/4 of an 8oz package white button mushrooms; chopped roughly
4.25 can chopped black olives
4 T. butter; torn into small pieces
1/2 T. salt
1/2 T. black pepper
1/2 T. sage
6 C. chicken broth (I mix 6 C. water with 6 chicken bouillon cubes)
1 egg

First, we get to chopping. I do the celery first because I really like the smell of celery. Yum.

Next, we chop the onion into small pieces. I would call this a rough dice. I used a medium sized onion here but you could use half of one of the big honking ones if that's what you have.

Now chop up about 3/4 of a package of mushrooms. I'd say into about 1/2 inch pieces.

Now add your torn up bread pieces to your mixing bowl.

Atop that, add your bag of dressing mix. The dryness of dressing mix plus the soft bread gives the dressing a better texture.

Now toss all your veggies (celery, olives, mushroom, and onion) on top of that mound.

Now you can add your seasonings. Go for about 1/2 Tablespoon each of salt, black pepper, and sage. Don't get too heavy handed on the salt because you are using seasoning bread crumbs, olives, and chicken stock that will balance your salt levels in the dish.

Here is the chicken broth I made. I just combined 6 C. of water with 6 bouillon cubes. Make sure to let it cool a bit before using it.

Start ladling your stock into the dressing about a cup at a time until it gets a loosely firm texture to it. You want it to jiggle when shook, but you do NOT want it to slosh at all. After this step, go ahead and taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings as your see fit. After you're satisfied, add in one egg and 4 T. of butter to bind the mixture together.

Put it into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crock Pot and Baked Chimichangas

Some days I am super lazy in the kitchen. But, that's okay because my lazy enabling friend the crock pot makes some mighty fine dinners for us. This one is a take on my yummy fattening friend the chimichanga.

Baked Chimichangas ... Yum.

Whatcha need:

1 medium white or yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
1 packet of taco seasoning
1 pound round steak (or other cheap cut of meat)
1 small can of tomato sauce
10 burrito sized tortillas
1 small can refried beans
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Chop up a white onion and one green bell pepper. Put them in a crock pot with a pound of round steak (or whatever cheap meat you got), 1 can of tomato sauce, and one packet of taco seasoning.

Cook your mixture on high for 6 hour or low on 8 hours. Then shred the meat with tongs when it's done cooking. It should fall apart fairly easily for you.

Now, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and oil the bottom of a foil lined pan.

Slather a few tablespoons of refried beans on your tortillas.

Then add a few healthy pinches of cheddar cheese. Cheese is good. Say it with me, ya'll!

Top the pile with your smells so good and makes your mouth water meat mixture.

Roll it up like a burrito (after all, a chimichanga is just a deep fried, or in our case baked, burrito).

Brush on a little bit of vegetable oil. And put it in your preheated oven.

Pull them out when they're toasty and golden like this.

Top those babies with more cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever else your heart desires. And then, ENJOY. Yummy good crock potty goodness.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stuffed Turkey & Swiss Pita Pockets

I am seriously on the hunt for easy, summer recipes and ideas. I totally despise cooking full fledged heavy meals in the hot summer months. In fact, I'm thinking about lobbying Congress to make it illegal!! :-) How many of you wives and mothers are with me?

Turkey and Swiss Stuffed Pita Pockets

Whatcha Gonna Be Needin':
6 Pita Pockets, whole
6 slices swiss cheese
1 12 oz. package of turkey lunch meat, chopped
1/2 tub sliced white mushrooms
1/2 stick butter


This is a pita pocket. Pita pockets are your friends in the stinkin' hot dog days of summer.


You need to take a knife and make a slice into the pocket of the pita and separate it like so.


You can stuff a lot of stuff in that big ol' thing! So one pocket is plenty per person.


Lay a piece of cheese in there.


Toss on some sliced fresh mushrooms.


Add a pat or two of thin butter.


Top with chopped turkey breast.


Put them in a baking dish and cover it with foil. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until the butter and cheese are all melted. Add ranch dressing or mayo to your finish product. Or maybe even salsa. Or lettuce and tomatoes ... or ... or ... or...

Now, here is where the choices are endless. You can make pizza pockets with pepperoni, olives, and mozzarella. You can do taco pockets with taco meat and cheddar cheese. You can do veggie pockets. Really, it's just quick, easy, and coooool.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Simple Potato Soup

This is a one pot wonder that I make on nights when I have zero to no time. It's comfort food from a can, if you will.

Whatcha Need:
Potatoes- peeled, chopped, boiled, and strained
1 Lg. can chicken noodle soup
1 Lg. can cream of chicken soup
2 C. milk
salt, pepper, and garlic powder


First, boil your chunked up potatoes until they are just a bit past fork tender. Don't let them go very far past fork tender or the starches will develop too much and you'll just have a pot of mash on your hands. These are tender enough that when I stir them they start to fall apart. I like that for a soup consistency.


Add in your large can of chicken noodle soup. I just use good ol' condensed Campbells. But, you can add in whatever special soup you like right here. Just use the large can.


Add in your shredded chicken and ignore the sharp nature of this photo. The lighting in my kitchen is HORRRRIBLE so I do what I must.


Now, add in your large can of cream of chicken soup and think about all the casseroles you've made in your day. Good stuff.


Salt and pepper and garlic powder that pot of comfort.


Now, start pouring milk and stirring. Stop pouring when the soup is the consistency that you like.


It's done! YUM! Now, you can eat as is or you can hook it up with some bacon bits, sour cream, or green onions. Gooood stuff, baby!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

White Chicken Chili

Oh this is good. This is good and easy, which makes it like 10 times more good. Oh yeah.

Whatcha Gonna Be Needin':
1 lg. white onion, chopped
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 C. shredded chicken
1 small can green chiles
1 can medium Rotel
3 cans Great Northern Beans
8 oz. monterrey jack cheese, cubed or shredded
8 oz. pepper jack cheese, cubed or shredded


A Family Photo


Getcha onions all chopped and tossed in with some oil in a hot pan. Get those babies translucent.


Toss your chopped or shredded chicken pieces in here.


Now mix in your can of green chiles. Smell these babies ... these are gooood.


Now, I would be obliged if you'd mix in that can of Rotel. I use mild Rotel but you can use hot, if you feel the need to breathe fire.


What's this? Could it be me mixing in the cans of white beans? YUM!


Now mix in the milk and add a little salt and pepper. All is good and yummy with the white chili. Turn the heat down to about medium low right about here.


Cut the cheese, buddy. Shred it, dice it, or whatever ... just promise me you'll laugh when I say cut the cheese.


Melt your yummy nummy cheese into the pot now. Keep stirring so it breaks up and doesn't burn to the bottom. Isn't melted cheese pretty?


Bon appetite, mes amis!