Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Erika's Chili

I came up with this concoction for our ward chili cook-off. I didn't win, but I don't think that means this stuff isn't good! I totally love it! It has a very special ingredient in it that we all love...CHOCOLATE! I took ideas from a few different recipes ( and came up with this. Enjoy and I'd love to hear what you think!

2 t olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalepenos, diced small
1 lb ground beef
1-1/2 lbs. sirloin steak, or any kind of steak, cubed small
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, or 1/2 quart jar of homemade (cut up with shears)
2 cans beef broth
2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
4 T red wine vinegar
4 T brown sugar
4 T chili sauce
1 t cumin
1 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 square unsweetened baking chocolate (1/2 oz)
1 t mexican red pepper, ground
1-1/2 t salt, divided
1 t black pepper, divided
1 T chili powder
2 cans kidney beans
2 cans pinto beans

-Heat oil. Cook meat, onions, garlic, peppers, 1/2 t of salt and 1/2 t pepper until meat is brown and veggies are tender.
-Add everything else and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for as long as you can! Best if simmers at least an hour, but you can simmer it all afternoon or put in crock pot!
-Serve with diced green onions, grated cheddar, and a dollop of sour cream on top!
-This makes a full pot. Serves at least 10.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dan's Scones

We had these delectable treats at a friend's house a few days ago and I could have eaten the whole plate of them! I forgot how divine scones are, straight from the hot pan of oil, smothered in honey and butter....Mmmmmm!

In medium bowl:
1 T yeast
1/2 C warm water
1 T sugar

In large bowl:
2 C warm water
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C oil
2 t salt
3 C flour (will need 8 C total)

Add one egg and yeast mixture

Slowly add remaining flour. When dough becomes very stiff, use hands. Combine and knead until dough becomes soft and smooth. Remove dough. Spray bowl and top of dough with Pam. Place in sink of warm water to rise. Shape into patties, fry in oil, drain and eat!

Chicken alla Cucina

For all of you who LOVE Cucina's Deli in the Avenues, this is for you! My sister-in-law gave me this delicious recipe (her niece worked there for a while). So easy, quick and delicious! Serve over your favorite pasta!

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 med. onion, diced
1 T chopped garlic
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 T flour
1 (15oz.) can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
2 C chicken broth
1 C white wine
1/2 C julienne cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained)
1 t dried oregano
1 t dried basil
1 t salt
1/2 t ground blk pepper

In large skillet, heat the butter and oil. Add onion, saute 2-3 min. Add garlic and chicken. Saute until chicken is done. Stir in the flour until incorporated in the chicken pieces. Add artichokes, broth, wine, tomatoes, and spices. Cover, simmer 10 min.

Serves 4-6

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Butternut Squash-White Bean Soup

I made this tonight for dinner and totally loved every bite! Such an interesting combo of flavors that work together really well. I got this from Cooking Light, but tweaked it a little, as always, so this is what I came up with. The wine is a must to get the wonderful flavor of this soup. If you have to, you can use cooking wine that you can get in the vinegar aisle, but real wine tastes the best. Enjoy!

8 bacon slices
1 c chopped onion
2/3 c chopped celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and chopped small (I used 1 med. squash)
1/4 c dry white wine (I used Sake-it's what I had on hand)
4 c chicken broth or bouillon
1 t cumin
1/4 t ground red pepper
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 c heavy cream
1 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
2 (15 oz) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained

-Cook bacon in large pot until crisp. Remove from pot. Pour out bacon grease, keeping a good amount on bottom of pan (I did 5 t)and then add onion, celery, and garlic. Cook a few minutes until tender; add squash and continue cooking 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine and cook another 5 minutes to reduce a little. Then add remaining ingredients except for the cream. Simmer for maybe 15 minutes or so until the veggies are nice and tender. Add cream and bring to a boil then remove from heat.

-Crumble bacon and sprinkle on top of bowls of soup. Serves 8.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Barefoot Contessa's Brownies

Ok girls. These brownies are to die for! (I mean you literally might die from a heart attack--either from the butter coursing through your veins or just from sheer delight!!!) I got this from a show on the food network highlighting decadent desserts!

6 eggs
3 T coffee granules (you can omit, but I just used 2T. If you like mocha, use the 3. She says it richens up the chocolate flavor)
2 T vanilla
2 1/4 C sugar
Whisk together.

Melt and cool 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, 1 pound butter, and 1 pound semi-sweet chocolate. Pour into egg mixture and mix.

1 C flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
Fold into chocolate mixture.

Stir in 12 oz chocolate chips, and 3 C walnuts (I used 1 1/2 C toasted almonds cuz Chris hates walnuts). Add a little flour to the chips and nuts before adding to the mix, so they won't sink to the bottom of pan. I also leave them plain and that is good, too.

Pour into buttered and floured 13x17 (it's the one just bigger than a jelly roll) cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Halfway through baking, rap pan on oven rack to get the air bubbles out. Cool, and refrigerate before cutting and serving!

Pumpkin Creme brulee

While we're talking about pumpkin recipes, here's a fabulously easy and very tasty one! This is my favorite pumpkin treat! You better try it Em!

3 C heavy cream

1 t pumpkin spice

1/2 t salt

3/4 C sugar

8 egg yolks

1 15 ounce can pumpkin

Stir cream, spice, salt and sugar in heavy pot. On medium heat, bring to simmer (bubbles around edge) Take off heat. Whisk together egg yolk and Pumpkin. Slowly pour in hot cream mixture until fully incorporated. Pour into 4 oz. ramekins. Place ramekins in a warm water bath and bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or until set around the edges but slightly wiggly in the middle. Take out of oven, and water bath. Let sit 10 min. then cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and chill for 3-4 hours. When ready, sprinkle with sugar and torch to burn the sugar or put under broiler, watching carefully. Put a spoonful of whipped cream on top with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Mmm Mmmm Good!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I made these for our cider party today and I'm so glad I did! They were a joy to make. The dough had a wonderful consistency and rolled out beautifully! I found this recipe online but it had been veganized, so I changed a few things and added a couple eggs. I also made the dough last night and kept it in the fridge to save some time this morning. These are fairly simple to make, so don't think you can't do it, because you can! I'm very pleased with how they turned out! The pumpkin really makes these a beautiful color!

2 pkg. dry yeast (or 2 T)
1/2 c warm water
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1/2 c canned milk
1/2 c butter, melted
2 eggs
1/4 c sugar
7 c flour
2 1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t ginger

1 c brown sugar
3 t cinnamon
1/2 c butter, softened

1 1/2 c powdered sugar
3 T canned milk
1/2 t vanilla
dash of cinnamon

-In your mixer bowl combine yeast and water, whisk together and let stand 5 minutes. Add pumpkin, milk, butter, sugar, and eggs. Lightly mix using dough hook. Gradually add and mix on medium until smooth. Dough should be a little sticky, so careful adding the flour, you may not need it all but I did. Continue to mix on medium for 10minutes.

-At this point, you can either cover bowl with plastic wrap and stick in fridge overnight, or you can cover and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes until doubled in size.

-Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.

-For filling, mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

-Turn dough onto a floured surface and cut in half. Roll each half into a 12x10-inch rectangle. Spread each half with softened butter, then sprinkle filling mixture on top covering the whole rectangle. Roll up rectangle from long side, pinch seam and ends to seal. Cut each roll into 12 slices (about 1 inch each). Place slices in 2 greased 9x13 pans (12 rolls in each pan). Cover and let rise until doubled in size. If you're doing the overnight method it will take at least an hour. Otherwise, it will take about 25 minutes.

-Bake rolls at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

-In small bowl mix glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle with fork over slightly cooled rolls.

-Makes 24.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kneaders Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are the best I've had yet! I know I said I was going to stop baking, but I had to make something for our cider party tomorrow! They are so light and airy and just melt in your mouth! I really can't believe it! And yes, they do call for a lot of butter, but I think that's what makes them so good. I used 2 cubes butter, 1 cube margarine and they were absolutely wonderful! They have just the right amount of spices.

1 c brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c butter, softened
2 eggs
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
2 c flour
1 T baking powder
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ginger
1 c chocolate chips (I used the whole bag!)

-Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs, pumpkin, and cream together until color lightens. Scrape bowl and beat 1 more minute. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes (I did about 12)until just barely light golden brown edges.

-Makes about 3 dozen (depends how much of the batter you eat!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Coconut Syrup

I was in the process of making syrup for french toast this weekend, only to unfortunately discover that I was all out of maple extract! So as a substitute I thought I'd try coconut extract. The results were wonderfully delicious! It's not quite like the stuff you get in Hawaii, but just as good to me!

1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 c water
3/4-1 t coconut extract

-Bring sugars and water to a boil. Remove from heat and add extract. Stir well and serve.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Kneaders Chunky Cinnamon French Toast

'Knead' I say more??? So lucious and delicious! Great for the holidays. (overnight recipe)

1 loaf Kneaders Chunky Cinnamon Bread cut in 8 slices (or Great Harvest)
8 eggs
3 c milk (I like 2% or richer)
1 T brown sugar
3/4 t salt
1 T vanilla
2 T butter

-Butter a glass 9x13 generously. Place the bread flat in the dish. Mix all remaining ingredients, reserving the butter, and pour over the bread. Cut butter into pieces and dot over the top. Chill overnight or at least 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Serves 8.

1 c brown sugar
1 c heavy cream
1 c light Karo syrup

-Blend together and heat on stovetop until sugar is smooth and blended. Serve warm.