Monday, October 29, 2012

Mama's Darn Good Chili

This is the chili Mama made while I was growing up.  There isn't anything fancy about it, but it's nice and thick, hearty, and delicious.  It doesn't have a lot of ingredients or chopping required, which is always nice since my sweet little 2 year old like to do everything I do.  Thank goodness for butter knives! 

This is what my chili brick looked like.  I usually find them in the freezer section or in the meat department.

2 pounds dry red beans
2 pounds ground beef
2 onions, diced
1 (46 ounce) can tomato juice
1 chili brick
2 tablespoons chili powder, or to taste
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

Sort through the beans to make sure there are no rocks in them.  Place beans in a large pot and cover with 12 cups of water.  Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat and cover with a lid; let sit for 1 hour.  Drain beans and cover with water that goes 1 inch above the beans.  Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 2 hours, or until tender; drain.  Combine ground beef and onion in a large frying pan and cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink.  Add cooked beef, tomato juice, chili brick, chili powder, and salt to the drained beans.  Mix well and simmer for 30 minutes.

Mama's Darn Good Chili is great with Sweet Corn Bread!

Recipe from my mama

Friday, October 26, 2012

Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix

This Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix is hands down the best hot chocolate mix I've ever tasted.  Ever!  It's so good, I wanted to call it "I think I've died and gone to heaven hot chocolate mix", but I thought that was a bit long.  So I settled on Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix.  The title doesn't do it the justice it deserves.  It's sweet, creamy and chocolatey.  It's even better than Mary Poppins.  After all, Mary Poppins is only practically perfect in every way.  This stuff is perfect! :)

1 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup powdered creamer
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup white chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients, except white chocolate chips, in a large bowl and mix until well combined.  Pour 1 cup of the mixture into a food processor along with the white chocolate chips and process until smooth (about 1 minute).  Pour the processed mixture back into the bowl with the other mixture and mix until well combined. 

To serve add 1/4 cup Double Chocolate Hot Chocolate Mix to 3/4 cup very hot water.  Stir until well combined.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Sweet Bella Roos and Tatertots and Jello.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Rosemary Roasted Chicken

The cooler fall weather means that I can not only bake up a storm of goodies, but also bake dinner!  We all loved this Rosemary Roasted Chicken.  It was moist, tender, and delicious.  I had 2 kids claim they weren't hungry and didn't want much chicken, only to ask for seconds. 

6 bone-in chicken leg quarters (about 5 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix oil and spices in a large bowl.  Add chicken and toss to coat well.  Place chicken in a single row on a large baking sheet.  Roast at 425 for 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. 

Recipe adapted from McCormick

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Who Ordered Winter? My 9 Favorite Soups

 I vote for today being National Soup Day.  If there isn't a National Soup Day, there should be one!

I like to go walking in the mornings with a friend.  We both head out with strollers and get to actually talk to an adult (between kiddy interruptions) for an entire hour.  This morning it was a little chilly.  As in, 32 degrees with the wind chill.  It was cold!  And it's just going to get colder.  When we got home, all I wanted to do was curl up in a warm blanket with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa.  Since I have a darling little (destructive!) 2 year old running around, I figured that wasn't the best options.  It amazes me how something so cute and so small can make such a HUGE mess!

In his Halloween costume. :)

Since a warm blanket and a good book weren't going to happen, I dug through the fridge and found just enough leftover soup for a hot bowl.  I ate it as I watched my little destruct-o-baby play demolition derby with his cars.  I love little boys! 

One thing I'm excited for with the weather getting cooler cold is all the yummy soups I get to make.  Here are my 9 favorites (in no particular order).  Why 9 instead of 10?  Just for fun. :)

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder - This is the one I feasted on this morning after my freezing walk.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Poppers

I just can't seem to get enough pumpkin!  I've been going through the pumpkin I bottled last year like a crazy woman.  Really.  My kids think I'm crazy!  Luckily, my mom is a sweet mom and has invited me over to bottle some more pumpkin that she grew this year.  She seems to have a green thumb.  They say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, but in this case, it's far from the truth.  Unless, of course, you are talking about growing weeds.  I'm mighty good at that one!

Crazy or not, these Pumpkin Poppers are fantastic!  They're moist, tender and oh-so-good!  They remind me of doughnut holes.  And muffins. 

1 3/4 cups flour (I used bread flour because I had some I wanted to use up.  All-purpose is what the recipe called for)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (I used some I bottled)
1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine flour, baking powder and spices in a small bowl and whisk until combined.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and mix until just combined.  Grease a mini muffin tin and fill tins until almost full.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  While poppers are baking, pour melted butter into a small bowl.  Combine cinnamon and sugar in another small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.  Let the poppers cool for about 15 minutes, then dip in butter and roll in cinnamon sugar mixture.

Recipe from Clever Housewife.

Linked on Tatertots and Jello.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Candy Corn Frosting

As a kid, my favorite treat to get at a class Halloween party, or out trick-or-treating, was a frosted sugar cookie with a candy corn or pumpkin stuck in the center.  I always left the candy in the middle of the cookie and ate it.  My favorite bite was the one with the candy corn.  I loved the taste of the candy corn, frosting and cookie all put together.  Those were the days.  Treats didn't have to be store bought and actually tasted good!  *sigh*

This year I went of a quest to find the perfect Candy Corn Frosting so every bite would be the best.  There was only one problem.  I couldn't find a single recipe.  I tried making Candy Corn Frosting a couple weeks ago.  It didn't turn out.  It was thick and runny.  Oxymoron?  Not in this case.  But it sure tasted good.  Since then I've spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how to make it work.  Probably more time than is normal.  But I won't admit it.  At least not out loud.  The second go was a charm!  The consistency was perfect and it was yummy!  I'm brilliant, I know.  And extremely humble. :)

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup candy corn
3 tablespoons milk
dash of salt
3 cups powdered sugar

Combine butter, candy corn, and milk in a food processor.  Process until smooth(ish), scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.  Mine still had some chunks, but I think it might be because my candy corn didn't seem to be the freshest.  The kids liked the chunky pieces.  Scrape candy corn mixture into a medium sized mixing bowl and stir in salt and powdered sugar.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Linked on Tatertots and Jello, Sweet Bella Roos, and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Koolaid Play Dough

I've been a mom for almost 14 years.  There are a few things I've learned over the years.  Things like

Characters on shoes and shirts are really okay.  I refused to buy my kids anything with a famous character on it.  I didn't like the way it looked.  I thought it was kind of trashy looking (please, don't judge me :)).  Until this year.  I was shoe shopping for my kids when my sweet little 2 year old found Cars shoes.  He LOVES Cars.  He carries his little Mater truck around with him everywhere he goes and always picks Cars when he gets to watch a movie.  Needless to say, it was love at first sight for the little guy.  He sat down and tried to put the Cars shoes on all by himself.  I guess I'm getting soft in my old age, because I bought him the shoes.  And Dora shoes for my 4 year old.  If only I would have know how much joy the characters on their little shoes could bring them, I'm sure I would have bought the other 3 character shoes as well.  My little 2 year old get excited every single day when I put his shoes on him.

The house doesn't have to be spotless.  It took me 3 kids and a sign at the neighbors house to realize this one.  What did the sign say?  "The house might be a mess, but the kids and I had fun today."  I still like the house to be clean, but a clean house isn't what my kids are going to remember when they get older.  The things that they'll remember are the things that we did together, or at least that we did things together.

If it's important to them, it's important to me.  After all, they are important to me.  Whether they want to show me something cool they found outside (that more than likely isn't allowed inside), tell me something, or do something with me, they are more important that anything else I'm doing.  They don't always want my attention when it's convenient, but they are what's important.  I feel like this one has helped me to have an amazing relationship with all 5 of my kids.  My teenager still wants to hang out with Mom, gives me hugs, kisses, and even tells me he loves me.  In front of his friends.  And he comes to me with any questions or problems he has.  And he has a LOT of questions.  It's amazing (and not always in a good way) the things he is told at school.  He asks me what a word means, if something is true, etc.  I think it's a good thing I'm not shy!

Dessert for dinner is okay.  Once in a while.  It's a memory maker.

Chores are a good thing for kids.  It teaches them how to work.  They might not do the job as well as I would like, but as long as they give it their best effort, that's good enough.

It's okay to let the kids help.  From cooking, to cleaning, to getting the mail, kids love to help.  It might take me twice as long (or longer!) to do something, it might make twice the mess (or more!), but they are the best little helpers I could ask for.  And they are definitely worth taking a little extra time doing something so I can spend time with them.  Besides, if I don't let them help me now, they aren't going to want to help me when they get older.  

Cherish every little gift.  If my kids draw me a picture, give a a prize they got at school, the last bite of a treat they saved, or a treasure they found while playing out side, I love every gift they give me.  They give me things because they love me.  They make things for me because they love me.  It might not look like anything significant, but they love me and thought of me, not someone else, but me.  My 6 year old loves to draw me picture and write a little note on the picture.  It usually says something like "I love you Mom.  We are love."  I love that they want to make me things and give me their little treasures.  I.  Love.  Them!

I know Koolaid Play Dough isn't edible, but it sure is fun for the kiddos and the best recipe I've tried.  It's smooth.  It's non-toxic.  It smells yummy.  And it keeps the kids busy for a long time.  Like an entire 45 minutes at a time.  And without any fighting.  Now that's priceless!

Putting the Play Dough in....
Pushing the Play Dough out....
Lots of giggles....
And showing what she did with her Play Dough.
They all had fun!  Even my 11 year old played with them for a while.  Until she had to do her chores.

1 cup flour 
1/2 cup salt 
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 package unsweetened Koolaid 
1 cup water

In a small pan combine dry ingredients.  Add oil and water and mix well.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture forms a ball.  Pour dough onto the and knead until smooth (wait until it cools a little first!). Store in airtight container.

Recipe from my daughters preschool.

Linked on Sweet Bella Roos and Tatertots and Jello.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Although I'm enjoying the cooler weather, it's almost depressing.  Depressing because I know it means winter is just around the corner.  I'm no fan of winter.  I don't like the cold, and the snow is even worse.  On the bright side, I can use my oven to bake up a storm of fallish goodies and comfort foods.  And hot chocolate season is here.  I guess that makes up for the approaching winter. 

I loved this Baked Macaroni and Cheese!  I loved the flavor the garlic gave it and the simple ingredients it has.  The family ate it really well and loved the topping.  My little 6 year old was less than happy that it wasn't macaroni and cheese out of the blue box, but devoured every last bite.  I think that's a good sign.

1 (12 ounce) box macaroni (or other pasta of choice), cooked according to package directions and drained
3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
12 round buttery crackers (like Ritz), crushed

Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Reduce heat to medium-low and add flour.  Stir to make a paste and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly.  Increase heat back to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.  Slowly add 3 cups of the cheese and whisk until melted and smooth.  Stir in the cooked macaroni and mix until well combined.  Add 1 cup of cheese and stir until just combined.  Pour into a greased 9x9 inch pan.  Top with remaining 1 cup cheese and sprinkle with cracker crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing

I have the curse of naturally curly hair.  At least that's how I lovingly refer to it.  And my hair is thick.  Which I can't complain about.  Unless it's short and I don't do it.  Then I look like a tumble weed.

I was getting together with some friends tonight for a girls night out and thought I would actually do my hair (aka straighten my hair).  I don't straighten it often because it takes longer than I like to spend on my hair (more than 30 seconds).  But decided I would.  My hubby mocked offense that I would do my hair for the girls, but not him.  I don't know what possessed me to do it, but it was a bad, very bad idea!  I found 6 gray hairs!  Not just one, or even two, but 6!  I think now would be an appropriate time for a mid-life crisis.  And a diet Coke.  And lots of chocolate.  And maybe even a cinnamon roll.

There are several wonderful things about these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing.  Like, the batch only makes 12 cinnamon rolls (you could easily double it, I'm sure).  You're probably wondering why I would say just 12 cinnamon rolls would be a good thing.  Well, I'm severely lacking in the self control department.  So now I only have to attempt to have self control for 12 cinnamon rolls, instead of 24, or more.  That's a good thing.  And then there's the caramel icing.  I don't think I need to say anything more about that one.  Let's not forget about the pumpkin.  I love being able to sneak healthy stuff into less healthy stuff.

Surprisingly, some of these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Icing survived until the next morning.  I put one in the microwave for 20 second and let the icing melt into the roll.  Yum!

1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (I used some I bottled)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon dry yeast
2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
Caramel Icing:
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 dash salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine butter and milk in small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the butter is just melted, stirring constantly. In large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Add milk mixture and beat until well mixed. Beat in egg and yeast. Add half of the flour to the pumpkin mixture and beat on low speed 5 minutes. Add remaining flour and mix thoroughly (dough will be very soft). Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Pour dough out onto a lightly greased surface and knead to get the air bubble out and make the dough smooth. Roll the dough into 12x10-inch rectangle. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Brush surface of dough with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar mixture. Beginning with long side of dough, roll up like a jellyroll. Pinch the seam to seal. With sharp knife or piece of string, cut the roll into twelve 1-inch slices. Place rolls, cut sides up and down, in greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, 30 to 45 minutes. Bake the rolls at 350 for15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Cool for 15 minutes, then drizzle with caramel icing.

For the Caramel Frosting:
In small saucepan, heat butter until melted. Stir in brown sugar and milk. Cook over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Pour into a small bowl to cool. Once cooled (I let it cool to luke warm) stir in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and powdered sugar. Beat until well blended.

Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

Linked on Tatertots and Jello and Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Apple Crisp

Apparently my kids are deprived.  My sweet little 11 year old called her Granny, just to chat, and Granny told her she was making Papa an Apple Crisp.  My little princess got off the phone and let me know I've never made her an apple crisp and asked begged me to make her one.  I told her that Apple Crisp was basically just an apple crumb pie, but without the crust.  She said she knew.  Apparently Granny told her.  Funny, anything Granny tells her is true (really, it is), but she doesn't believe half of what I tell her.  So I tell her to call Granny.  Then she believes me.  Funny thing.

I must really love that sweet little 11 year old of mine.  I had a lovely bag of my favorite apples (pink lady - YUM!!) and used all of them for her very first Apple Crisp.  She was in heaven!  I think she ate half the pan all by herself.  You'd never know she likes to eat by looking at her, though.  If only I had that problem....

8 cups sliced apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
1 teaspoon lemon juice

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup instant oats
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
dash salt

Preheat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except topping ingredients.  Mix well and pour into a 3 quart baking dish (I used a 9x13 inch pan).  Combine all topping ingredients and use a pasty blender to cut butter into the other ingredients.  When the butter is cut in and looks like small crumbs, sprinkle over apples.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Serve warm or cold.

Recipe adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up!

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fried Zucchini and Onions

Do you know what goes well on buttered toast?  Sprinklers.  Or at least that's what my 4 year old calls them.  I gave my little princess a piece of toast and she asked for "sprinklers".  Not honey or jam, but "sprinklers".  Well, since she is so darn cute and knows how to use nice words, like please and thank you, I gave in and she had toast with sprinkles for breakfast.  I opted for homemade jam on my toast.  Just in case you were wondering. :)

Fried Zucchini and Onions has got to be my favorite summer/fall side dish.  I think I could eat it every single day and not tire of it before my garden dried up.  And the kiddos love it too! 

2 tablespoons butter
4 medium sized zucchini squash, sliced fairly thin
1 onion, sliced fairly thin
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Fry the zucchini and onions in the butter, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from The Royal Cook - an original!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Emma Smith's Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I can't believe how good these cookies were!  They were full of flavor and nice and soft.  And I loved the addition of nuts in them.  I almost left the nuts out, and am glad I didn't.  They really added to the cookies.  The family isn't too big on raisins, but they all loved the cookies.  Even my picky 11 year old ate them after I told her she could only have a cookie if she was going to eat it how it was and not pick out the raisins.  I'm a mean mom like that.

1/2 cup shortening 
3/4 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
4 cups rolled oats
2 cups raisins
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 cups nuts (I used pecans)

Mix shortening and sugar together then add eggs and beat well. Add milk and mix well. Mix flour, soda salt, and spices together in a separate bowl, then add them all at once. Mix well. Add raisins, oatmeal and nuts and mix.  Refrigerate overnight.  Roll into small balls (I flatten mine slightly.  I think it makes them cook more evenly) and place 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.  Bake at 375 for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden around the edges.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Cinnamon Applesauce

For Johnny Appleseed day at school, my sweet little 6 year olds class made Cinnamon Applesauce.  She had been looking forward to the day all week.  The little sweetheart even asked if she could take extra apples to class, just in case some of the other kids forgot theirs.  On the day her class was making the Cinnamon Applesauce, my little princess woke up with a tummy bug.  She was crushed that she wouldn't be able to go and get some applesauce.  I told her not to worry, I would be happy to make her some homemade applesauce.  There was only one problem.........She informed me there was a "secret" ingredient and neither of us knew what it was.  I used my mad mommy skills and found out the "secret" ingredient.  And then I ran into problem #2.  I couldn't find the "secret" ingredient.  I tried 2 different stores and then decided to improvise. 

The Cinnamon Applesauce was fantastic!  It made the house smell delicious and the smile on my little princesses face was priceless.

16 apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup Fire Jolly Ranchers, wrappers removed

Place apples in a crock pot and cook on high for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally.  Mash apples with a potato masher and add candies.  Cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm or cold.

Recipe adapted from Miss Christensen.

Linked on Sweet as Sugar Cookies.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Pancakes

I am loving the beautiful fall weather we are having.  And all the pumpkin goodies and foods I get to make.  Like these Pumpkin Pancakes.  They're delicious.  They're sneaky (they snuck veggies into my kids breakfast and the kids had no clue!).  They're like Mary Poppins.  Practically perfect in every way.

3 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree (I used pumpkin I bottled)
3 cups buttermilk
3 eggs, lightly beaten

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and brown sugar, combining well.  Add remaining ingredients to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Heat griddle on medium heat and grease lightly.  Scoop about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the griddle and let cook until lightly browned and bubbles start to appear on the surface, about 3 minutes.  Flip pancake and cook on the other side until lightly browned.

Recipe adapted from High Heels & Grills.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...