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Chili Warms the Soul

19 Aug

It’s pouring rain here tonight. Last night we had some serious storms … horizontal rain … which I got to drive in on the way home from a meeting. I can barely see to drive in the dark, let alone horizontal rain and whipping winds. Needless to say, I thought a traffic signal or tree were surely going to come flying in my window at any point.  Anyhow, this little story is just to explain why I want to make a big pot of chili in the middle of the summer.  It’s perfect for this rainy night.  This is the recipe I used: Read my chili blog here.  But, I used 2 pounds of meat. I also had the wonderful “fortune” of trying to find eggs in the middle of an egg-recall. You’d think the grocery store would have a list of the ones NOT to buy … but no.  So, I bought two kinds and said a little prayer that when I got home the factory numbers would be ok.  They passed.  The eggs were needed for the corn muffins in case you were wondering how I was using eggs in my chili. {ha} Anyhow… enjoy ya’ll! Have a great night!

Dijon Mustard Pork Chops

12 Mar

Yes, I’ve been missing in action. And, I was terribly depressed this evening when I logged onto my blog stats and saw how low my numbers had fallen. Don’t run away yet … I’m just adjusting to a new blogging schedule where I have to find time for my personal blog and the blog I’m writing for my new job which hopefully will translate into $$!

Needless to say, I thought of you all when I cooked tonight. {Yes, I actually cooked!} Pork Chops were on sale at the grocery store … and being the thrifty person I am {ha} I decided tonight would be a great night for Dijon Mustard Chops! They are so simple, that you just may laugh at me!

You will need: Boneless Pork Chops {I prefer thick cut}, a jar of Dijon Mustard, and a package of plain Shake-n-Bake or something similar. All you are going to do is coat the pork chops in the mustard, roll them around in the crumbs, and bake at 450 for approx 20-25 minutes depending on thickness. Piece of Cake. May I repeat: Piece.of.Cake! I served mine with steamed asparagus and some mashed potatoes. And, it all worked out nicely. No, I didn’t take a picture .. because I just plain forgot… But, I’m sure you will forgive me. Not much to see .. just a tasty pork chop!

Hope you all are doing well. Spring is in the air. I can not wait for some warmer weather. I took a little walk on the beach the other day with the dog and let him run around and play in the water. It was so nice to be outside enjoying the afternoon without freezing my toosh off! …. I have a recipe for Seafood Gumbo that I really want to try this weekend. There are some ingredients that I’m not too sure of, and some that I haven’t cooked with before… so it should prove to be very interesting. I WILL take picture! Until then… Night, Ya’ll!

Momma Says “Red Meat and Chocolate!”

6 Mar

 

I may officially be turning into my mother. When we used to go on mini-vacations {every other month or so} our treat to each other would be red meat and chocolate… Tonight, that is exactly what I wanted! And, let me tell you, that is exactly what I got! Now, my mother and I differ on how we like our meat cooked. She will send a steak back if it even remotely “moo’s” at her … I on the other hand, like it to “moo” at me, I just don’t want it to run off the plate!

 

 

You’re viewing the best meal I’ve cooked in months!! Medium-Rare Filet {ok, the foodie bf grilled that for me}, creamed spinach, and garlic whipped potatoes. And, yes… I’m too lazy to wash wine glasses, so those are good ol’ juice glasses. Wine tastes the same no matter what glass it comes in!  And, further back is a nice basket of warm french bread. Who’s a good domestic goddess? Yes, that would be me! And, to top it all off .. I’ve got brownies baking in the oven with some Vanilla-Bean Ice Cream in the freezer waiting to be added to the bowl! Goodness… I deserve and award tonight! {ha ha}

 

Anyhow, I hope you all are enjoying your weekend. I have to tell you, it is so nice to relax and be lazy and enjoy this beautiful weather we are having right now. I can only hope that full-spring gets here soon, soon, soon! I’m ready to put the top down, put some big sunglasses on, turn the girly music up, and sing at the top of my lungs!! Night ya’ll

 

By the way … you can find recipes for the potatoes and spinach on my blog  HERE and HERE … Enjoy!

Carne Asada {Picture Tutorial}

21 Feb

 

It was almost warm today! And, nothing makes me happier than a sunny day! Last year, I really got into a Carne Asada kick… we were living near the beach, and almost every weekend during the summer we would marinade some beautiful meat, head to the beach for a few hours, and come home and cook some delicious Carne Asada & Cheese Dip, and drink a few Coronas! It really was the perfect plan for a summer weekend! We hadn’t cooked this meal in what seems like forever so, when I saw the sun out this morning … I knew it was the perfect time! {And, I hadn’t blogged about it yet… oh, ya the pictures!}

 

According to Wikipedia, Carne Asada literally means “roasted meat” … My definition? … Heaven! Let me show you why…

 

You will need:

{Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.com}

  • 2 pounds of Skirt Steak
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (I’m a garlic lover, I used approx 7-8 cloves)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large handful of cilantro, finely chopped {There is great flavor in the stems – don’t be afraid to chop them too}
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

And, here’s what you do!

Lay the skirt steak out on a flat surface and season generously with salt and pepper. Rub it in with your hands. Let the meat sit while you make the marinade. To make the marinade, combine all the above ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.

{are the striations on this skirt steak not the most beautiful things you have ever seen?}

 

Once you have completed the marinade, pour over the meat in a bowl or dish which you can cover.

 

 

Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. {Trust me, it’s worth it!} Meanwhile…. let’s talk about Cheese Dip {yes, please}

 

If I had known how easy cheese dip was to make, I would have made it years ago … {and, I’d be a heck of a lot larger than I am now!} This dip an amazing appetizer to this Carne Asada … and will hold you down until the meat is ready. Just grab a few Coronas and you’ll be alright! To make the cheese dip you will need:

 

  • Cajun Chef – Nacho Slices Jalapenos, minced {2-3 large spoonfuls}
  • 1/2 pound Ground Beef
  • Approx 1/2 pound of White American Cheese
  • Milk

The process is crazy simple – Set yourself up with a double boiler. If you don’t have one, get two pots {one smaller than the other} fill the bigger one half full with water, and float the other one inside it. You just don’t want to burn the cheese – and puting it directly on the burner will do that! … Cube the cheese, mince the jalapenos, and brown the ground beef.

Add the cheese and jalapenos. Add milk until the cheese cubes are about halfway covered.

Let cheese cook slowly until fully melted – then add meat. Cook a little bit longer on low, string occasionally. Serve with corn chips.

 

 

Now, back to the meat!!! After you let the meat marinade for 3-4 hours, prepare your grill {or if cooking inside, a large fry pan}. Remove the meat from the marinade and try to get excess off so it  does not burn. Grill meat for a few minutes on each side. Depending on thickness. This should only take a few minutes total. When done, remove from heat and let sit for approx 5 minutes.

 

 

To Serve: Warm some corn tortillas in a fry pan over medium/high heat for approx 20-30 seconds each side. Serve with chopped cilantro and onion. {Yes, in America you’d be piling on the sour cream and cheese, but think outside the box. This is how it is served at roadside stands, and it’s good – I promise}

 

 

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we do! There is something about this meat that is so delicious. And, combined with the cheese dip and some good ‘ol Corona .. it is the perfect meal for a sunny day or summer afternoon! Keep your fingers crossed – warmer weather coming our way! Night ya’ll!

Beef Stew A-La-Package {Picture Tutorial}

2 Feb

 

Ok, foodie friends… I have a question: Would you consider it cheating to use a pre-packaged seasoning packet? {for say, chili or stew} I’ve always thought of those packages as all your spices rolled up into one so you don’t have to spend $30 buying all the full size spice bottles that you may only use once in a blue moon. {mmm, blue moon. I need a beer. It’s been a long day} Anyhow… if you consider it cheating, I cheated. I however, think I’m a smart domestic maven who just saved herself a boat-load of money! {although the spice cabinet will continue to lack at this rate}

 

First of all, I don’t have a slow cooker or crock pot, so this whole “bag” idea is perfect for me! {just perfect} Wait until you see how this whole meal comes together in a bag!! It’s pretty impressive for whomever invented it!

 

Beef Stew a-la-package. Your cast of characters …

 

{Not pictured is the second package of meat I used & the flour which the package calls for}

 

My Irish ancestors are rolling in the graves … stew, from a package?!

 

This whole meal is pretty straight forward. Cut up some potatoes, celery, onion, and baby carrots. {I’m in a house with carrot-haters, so I added some peas for their liking} Season meat with salt/pepper. Mix the seasoning package with some flour and water. Throw all the ingredients in the really cool plastic bag. Pour the seasoning mix over the ingredients. Tie the bag, cut some slits, and bake for an hour and a half.

 

 

 

Are you not just utterly amazed at the coolness of this plastic bag… and the fact that it isn’t going to melt away into my potatoes? Love it. Without further delay .. I give you my From a Plastic Bag, Make your Ancestors Roll in their Grave, Save you $30 in spices, Beef Stew a-la-package!  Enjoy!!!

 

Chicken Broccoli & Rice Casserole {Picture Tutorial}

1 Feb

 

Ever wander around the grocery store just praying that dinner will jump in the cart on its own? I swear I walked up and down the aisles pushing my cart for a good thirty minutes before I came up with a dinner idea. Most people probably have an idea before they go to the store …. but I’m not most people. Clearly. So, tonight we are having Chicken and Broccoli Casserole. {the chicken just begged me to jump in the cart} I blogged about it once before: here, but never posted any pictures. Tonight, you get pictures.

 

Here’s what you need:

4 TBSPs of Butter

1/3 Cup of Flour

1 TSP of Salt

1/8 TSP of Pepper

1/8 TSP of Garlic Powder

1 Cup of Chicken Broth

1 1/2 Cup of Milk

1 Bag of Instant Rice (you know, ‘Boil a Bag’)

2 Cups of Chicken (Tonight I used fresh chicken, but you can use the frozen Tyson kind that comes in cubes too!)

1/4 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I usually use much more cheese than is called for!)

3/4 Cup of Frozen Broccoli (I use the small florets, and also use more than is called for!)

Bread Crumbs for Topping

 

 

And, here’s what you do:

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and start the rice. I’m using fresh chicken tonight, so I’m starting by cutting up the chicken and cooking it with a little butter and salt/pepper.

 

 

Remove the chicken from pan. Melt butter over low heat. Combine flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Slowly add to the butter until paste starts to form and gets bubbly.

 

 

Once paste is smooth and bubbly, add chicken broth and milk. Whisk constantly, over medium heat, until mixture becomes creamy and smooth. Let boil for about one minute {continue to whisk}.

 

 

Mix in remaining ingredients: chicken, cheese, rice, and broccoli.

 

 

Pour into casserole dish, and cover with thin layer of bread crumbs. Put in oven for approx 40-45 minutes, or until bread crumbs start to brown around edges. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to thicken before serving.

 

 

This dinner turned out great, and was exactly what my tummy wanted tonight! Perfect comfort food for a chilly night {and easy too!} I love making this too, because it makes great leftovers. A lot of times leftovers don’t get used in my house … but this one never fails! I hope you have time to make it and enjoy it when you do! And, as always – I’d love to hear all about it! Night Ya’ll!

 

Quick & Easy Chili Recipe {Picture Tutorial}

25 Jan

 

**Update: This blog is getting a ton of visitors from Pinterest {Thanks y’all!} … Yes, I forgot to mention that you need to throw a can of dark red kidney beans a pinto beans into the mix. They’re in the picture, but I must have been too busy eating chili to realize I left it out of the instructions. Just make sure you drain them and you’ll be good! Enjoy and thanks for all the nice comments! – Amy **

I was really craving some seafood tonight – scallops to be exact – but somehow I managed to end up with a big bowl of chili. Let me tell you though, I cook some mean chili! And, don’t forget, it’s ridiculously easy and makes your kitchen smell like you are a seasoned domestic goddess {just what I’m going for – score!} Really, all you need for this recipe is two photos: the ingredients and the finished product… it’s that easy… dump the stuff in the pot and let it cook! Now, those are my kinda recipes!!! {but, just to be nice… I’ll include the measurements}

You will need:

{Serves approx 6-8}

1 Medium Onion {minced}

3-5 Garlic Cloves {minced}

1 – 1 1/2 pound of lean ground beef

2 cans of diced tomatoes {Onion, Garlic, & Oregano flavor)

1 can of petite diced tomatoes

1 can tomato sauce

2 TBSP Chili Powder

1 TBSP Ground Cumin

2 TBSP White Sugar

1 TBSP Salt

1 TBSP Tabasco Sauce

1 TSP Pepper

And, here’s what you do:

1. Brown the beef with onion and garlic. {Drain fat when finished and return meat to pot.}

2. Add cans of tomatoes, sauce, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, Tabasco, and pepper.

3. Simmer for at least 30-45 minutes …  but it tastes better the longer you let it simmer.

Ta’da:

Beautiful isn’t she? I like to serve mine with cornbread muffins {the kind in the Jiffy box}, a bit of shredded cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. Some people balk at the sour cream, but I think it tastes good.

{Did anyone happen to notice the amount of chili I cooked? I told you I have a problem with portion control.}

Rave reviews around this house for the chili … why don’t you try it at your house and let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear, as always! …. On a side note, I’m discovering my passion for Marketing all over again. With this new career, almost every day brings a new opportunity to use my marketing degree and marketing knowledge … and so far, I really love it. I hope that it stays this positive for a while to come!!!

Hope you all had a great day. And, I hope you enjoy the chili recipe. {Time to go watch the Bachelor – I should be ashamed for watching such nonsense … but I’m not!!! ha} Night ya’ll!