Sunday, November 28, 2010

Santa Fe Rice and Beans...

I cooked a whole pkg(2 pounds I think) of brown rice to use over the long weekend. Part of it went for my Broccoli Spinach Rice Casserole and the rest was meant for something greater.

Santa Fe Rice and Beans

1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1-2 jalepeno peppers, chopped very fine
1-2 carrots, chopped
1-2 celery stalks, chopped

Cook these in a little olive oil, broth, or water until tender.

3 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cans black beans, rinsed well and drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon broth paste
taco seasoning, mix of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and oregano to taste
1 can of water
1 teaspoon salt
3-5 cups brown rice, cooked(leftover)

Add these things to pot, simmer about 30-40 minutes or so over low heat. Serve over crushed tortilla chips, grated cheese, and topped with sour cream. YUM!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Special Dilled Potatoes

I made this up three Thanksgivings ago and forgot about it. Sarah asked me this morning if I would make that delicious potato thing that tasted like ranch dip. I knew immediately what she was talking about. It is sooooo good!!

Special Dilled Potatoes(or Quick, let me throw something potatoe-y together!)

7 medium potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup cheese whiz*
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Wash potatoes and put in pot with water to cover. Boil them, in jackets, about 20 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool. Combine soup, cheese whiz, milk, sour cream, and spices. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel skins off and dice into 1/2 inch cubes(bigger won't be as tasty). Combine with sauce mixture in buttered baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 along side broccoli rice casserole, for about an hour, browning the top during the last 10-15 minutes of cooking.

These are perfect for a buffet and go wonderfully with ham or turkey. I can't believe I only made them once. Must've been out of dill or something.

*or make your own.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cinci-Tex Chili

Being a Texas Southerner, I had never had occasion to eat Cincinnati Chili before now. I assumed it was kind of a combination of Italian spaghetti sauce and Texas-style chili, which sounded good but not all that intriguing. Sometimes I love it when I'm wrong!!

Last night Mark was running late, Ryan was at a friend's house and I had nothing going on for dinner. It was our homeschool group's park day and we'd been out of the house all day. We were all starving and the prospect of microwaved burritos, egg rolls, or baked potatoes was looming. Just last week I had cooked my last 10 pound roll of ground turkey from Fran's Fryers so I decided to thaw one out for a quick chili. Finding I had no canned beans(I know, right??) I carried on with my plans anyway. Being the slapdash cook that I am, I added many things that just sounded good. That's just how I roll. Sooooo, here's what I made....

Texas-Cinci Chili
1.5-2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1-2 onions(I cook mine with the meat so I didn't add more for this recipe)
2 cans diced tomatoes(the no-salt variety is what I use)
1 small can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili seasoning blend*
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4-1/2 each cinnamon, cloves, cumin, allspice or nutmeg, garlic powder, and oregano
1 teaspoon worchestershire sauce(I'm not a big fan)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper(optional, I like it hot)

Brown meat and onions together til meat is cooked through. Add tomato stuff and spices, start out with the lower amounts and add more if you want. If you are using allspice you may want to adjust or leave out the cloves and cinnamon. Simmer on low heat for 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile grate some sharp cheddar, boil up a pkg of spaghetti(we just used small elbows because I was out of long noodles) and chop some green onions. Serve hot chili over noodles and top with cheese and onions. Oh my Gawd this was good!!!

*I used a prepared blend, Chili Seasoning Mix, from Frontier but you can make this one or your own favorite blend.

So, this morning when I decided to search for Cincinnati Chili to see what I'd have to change, I happened upon recipes that were very similar to mine. Hmmmm.

Here are some that are making my mouth water for more! Enjoy!!

Cincinnati Chili from What's Cooking America.

Cincinnati Five Way Chili from Frontier Natural Products Co-op.

and Cincinnati Chili from Apartment Therapy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole(just like mom used to make-sort of)

Growing up, we usually had Thanksgiving with my grandparents in Oklahoma or at home with just us. My grandmother was an excellent cook and went all-out for Turkey Day. There was turkey and cornbread dressing(with nuts and green beans in hers-maybe a can of Veg-all even), mashed potatoes, rolls and so forth. These foods are so typical at Thanksgiving that I don't think they qualify as a family tradition but more of a national tradition.

Family traditions, to me at least, are the quirky things that make each family unique. Like playing toss the football in the yard, our annual walk to the back of my in-laws property(quite a trek these days since they don't tend to the land any more), chocolate pie, coconut pie, Millionaire pie, watching football from a pile of pillows in the floor, you know, that kind of stuff. Many of these things still happen in our family's harvest celebration but my very favorite is the Broccoli Rice Casserole. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.

My parents live almost a thousand miles from us so we don't share Thanksgiving any more(they come to us for Christmas). SuperHub's mom cooked much like my grandmother did but she has Alzheimer's Disease and can't now. Since I never had to do the meal myself until recently, I still kind of struggle with it. Several years ago I had not been able to find frozen chopped broccoli ANYwhere so I used spinach as a substitute, which gave the casserole a more earthy flavor. The next year I discovered that I didn't have rice on hand when it was time to do my cooking but I did have a package of quinoa that I didn't quite know what to do with so...

Broccoli-Spinach Quinoa Casserole(makes a full 9x13 pan)

olive oil
1 bag frozen chopped broccoli
1 pkg frozen chopped spinach
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
4 ribs celery, sliced
1 onion, sliced
8 oz cheese whiz(I use the great value brand from Walmart, but you can even make your own healthier version)

1-1.5 cups dry quinoa, rinsed well
about 3 cups water

Bring water and quinoa to boil, reduce heat and simmer til water is absorbed.

Cook onion and celery in olive oil until transluscent. Add greens, soups, and cheese product. Stir til well blended. Add quinoa and mix well. Pour into a buttered 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mexican Bulghur Stew

Today was our homeschool group's weekly park day and, as usual, we stayed later than we planned. All day long I had been thinking of the Homesick Texan's sweet potato biscuits and chorizo gravy and Big Red Kitchen's crustless quiche but I didn't have enough of the ingredients for either meal and I did NOT want to stop at the store after 5pm. Soooo, I went pantry diving! Came up with a handful of canned goods, a jalepeno chili and a bag of bulghur. Here's what came of it....

Or Can-Can Chili(but don't tell Amy because she doesn't like chili). Holy Smokes this is good!!!

1 cup medium bulghur
2 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon beef broth paste(I use Better than Boullion) or 1 beef cube
1 tablespoon olive oil or 2 tablespoons water
1 onion, chopped
1 jalepeno chili, seeded and chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste(no salt added)
1 can diced tomatoes(no salt added)
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2-1 teaspoon oregano
1/2-1 teaspoon cumin

Add bulghur to water and remove from heat. Meanwhile soften onion, jalepeno and garlic in a little oil or water. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes and beans, then the spices. Add bulghur and the water it soaked in, if any is left. Add about a can of water, if you think its needed. Simmer, covered for about 20 minutes or so, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Serve with sour cream, grated cheese, cornbread, tortilla chips or whatever you usually eat with chili.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spicy Spicy Chicken...

I wish I had time to make this tonight! Wednesdays are our busy nights so we usually grab a frozen eggroll or burrito or make a baked potato or something else simple. This doesn't take much time but we are literally out the door around 4pm and not back in til after 9pm. Thursdays aren't much better because of activities with our homeschool group. Soooo maybe Friday, and I promise to take a picture!

A melting pot of spicy flavors...

2 large bone/skinless chicken breasts, in 1-inch cubes
2 bone/skinless chicken thighs, in 1-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
couple glugs of olive oil
1/2-1 teaspoon of each of the following spices, adjust to your taste:
cumin, cayenne(about 1/4tsp of this one), dry mustard, curry, ginger, celery seed, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 14 oz cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice
1 14 oz can pineapple chunks in juice, with juice
1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped fine

Cook chicken and veggies in oil for 15 minutes. Add spices and cook 5 more minutes. Add soy sauce, tomatoes, and pineapple and simmer for 20 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Throw in cilantro and simmer another 10 minutes or so. Serve over hot, buttered rice or grain of your choice.