FINALLY……the wait is over!!!

For many years I have been waiting to get my grandma’s chili recipe. This is THE one recipe that truly reminds me of my childhood and growing up. I just love her chili, and I was sure no one could make it like her!

When I asked for her recipe, this is what I got:

Mammal’s Chili recipe

Brown hamburger and onion.
Tomato sauce–med and small can each.
Water
Diced potatoes
2 Large cans and a small can of kidney beans
Chili powder to taste.
Bring to boil. Simmer on low heat.

Clearly, as you can see, there are no real measurements. There are no directions. Gotta love old family recipes!

So, in speaking with my mom on the phone one day last week, she told me she was making this chili. She then went on to say, that her and my dad have adapted it a bit and combined my grandma’s recipe with another they came across. I then changed it a bit myself, and designated actual measurements! Below is what I came up with.

Mamal’s Chili …with a few changes

2 pounds ground turkey
2 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cans (16 ounces) Dark Kidney Beans
2 cans (16 ounces) Pinto Beans
2 cans (15 ounces) Black Beans
2 cans (8 ounces ) tomato sauce
2 cans (15 ounces) diced potatoes
2 tsp chili powder, or to taste
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
Water (16 ounces), or to desired thick/thinness

Brown ground turkey and chopped onion. Drain excess grease off.

Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cook on low heat for at least 1 hour (I actually cooked mine for about 2 hours, until it was time for dinner).

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As when I was a kid,we often just crushed some saltine crackers in the soup, or served them on the side for dipping. On occasion, we would also serve grilled cheese sandwiches.

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I hope you and your family enjoy this as much as I have throughout the years. Maybe one day it will be one of your family’s old recipes!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Leftovers and Coworker Treats!

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First, let me say, as you can tell from the picture above, our leftover fish tacos and black bean soup were a success!! Click here for recipes. They were just as delicious as last night, but I changed it up a bit.

Instead heating the tortillas and making a traditional taco, I made tortilla chips, as I had previously posted here, and using the shredded cabbage as my base, I made a fish taco salad. It was equally delicious! The crunch of the oven-baked tortilla chips were a perfect compliment to the salad.

So, since I did not make dinner tonight, I felt compelled to make a treat for my coworkers. Only problem was, after being on-call this weekend, I had zero energy to drive to the grocery to buy anything. Therefore, I needed to make something of whatever I already had on hand.

I took to my Pinterest profile to see what I had pinned that I could make, and I discovered these yummy lemon poppy seed cupcakes with lemon glaze. My version altered slightly from the original recipe, in that, I tried to make them a bit healthier and cut down on the amount of lemon zest because I only had a few lemons on hand.

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Lighter Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup margarine, softened (Smart Balance Light)
1 and 1/2 cups sugar (I used the Splenda blend equivalent, which was 3/4 cup, divided)
3 large eggs
1 tbsp poppy seeds

For the citrus glaze:

1 and 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
For garnish: lemon zest, poppy seeds

Directions

For the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degree. Line a cupcake pan with the liners of your choice.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl.

Stir together milk and 1/4 cup lemon juice in a small bowl.

Using a hand mixer, beat butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and the lemon zest on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Mixing on low, and add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.

Beat in poppy seeds.

Divide batter among muffin tins (filling each cup two-thirds full). Made 22 cupcakes.

Bake until golden around the edges, 20-22 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Let stand until ready to use

Brush warm cupcakes with half the lemon juice mixture. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack, and let cool for 30 minutes.

Brush cupcakes again with remaining orange juice mixture, and let cool completely.

For the citrus glaze: Whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle on the cupcakes (about 1 tsp each) to cover the tops. Sprinkle with poppy seeds, and garnish with strips of lemon zest if you desire. Let sit for about 20 minutes or so until glaze is set.

Luckily for my husband, I made enough for him to try one tonight! Hopefully my coworkers find them as delicious as he did!

ENJOY!! 🙂

Football Saturday Dinner: Blackened Fish Tacos

A few weeks ago, my grocery store had cod fillets on sale, but when I went to purchase them, they were sold out. Because the price was so good, I got a raincheck. Today, when I went to pick up a few things, I cashed in on my raincheck!

Even before the grocery store,I woke up thinking about fish tacos. Maybe they were in one of my dreams?? So, before I headed off to the hospital early this morning to see a few patients, I got on my iPad to find a recipe. Below is my version!

Simple Blackened Fish Tacos

Ingredients:

2 and 1/2 tsp paprika
2 and 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
4 cod fillets
Cooking spray
8 corn tortillas

Directions:

Spray the grill pan before heating. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine spices, honey, and lime juice in a bowl. Using your hands, coat both sides of the fish. Grill each side for 3 to 4 minutes.

Wrapped in a damp paper towel, warm corn tortillas in microwave for 30-45 seconds.

**Recipe Inspiration: Some Kitchen Stories

To top the cod, I also made a black bean and corn salsa, similar to what I made with my healthy chicken enchiladas (minus the edamame). Click link for recipe.

And then, I combined 1 cup of fat free sour cream with 1/4 cup chunky salsa.

Lastly, I had some store-bought shredded Mexican cheese and some green cabbage I shredded in the food processor.

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Also pictured, a black bean soup I had previously made with my baked taco chicken. Click link for recipe.

A delicious success! Little man really enjoyed the fish and black bean soup too!!

ENJOY!! 🙂

GO IRISH!!!

Chicken Corn Soup….simplified!

One of my fondest childhood memories is my grandmother making a huge pot of Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn soup or buying it from a Christmas church bazaar. It makes me smile every time I think about it!

About a year ago, I found a great chicken corn soup recipe online, but it tends to take some time to prepare and make it. Therefore, I typically only made the soup on a Saturday or Sunday. But….what if I want it on a weeknight?? There is no way I would have time, especially since I often do not decide what I’m going to make for dinner until I wake up in the morning and sometimes not until I’m at work.

Tonight I tried to recreate the delicious Pennsylvania Dutch chicken corn soup that I’m used to, but with a few short cuts. Below is what I created. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

Quick Chicken Corn Soup

Ingredients:

4 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
4 cups of water
4 cups of chicken stock
5 ears of corn, corn cut from cob
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot, put in the chicken breasts and water. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling about 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

Remove chicken and place on a plate to cool. Strain cooking water and return back to pot. Add chicken stock.

While the water and stock come to a boil, cut or shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Add to stock and water.

Then add both the creamed corn and corn cut off the cob. Stir. Cook about 10 minutes.

In a continuous stream, add the lightly beaten eggs. (I actually had an extra egg white that I had added as well.). Cook about 5 minutes, until egg is cooked.

Salt and pepper to taste.

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With the soup, I served a grilled (baked) turkey and cheese sandwich as I had done previously.

Little man loved the soup as well, but could not get him to eat the grilled cheese!

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ENJOY!!!

Almost White Chili…..with homemade tortilla chips!

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No matter the time of year, my family and I always enjoy a bowl of soup or chili. Something about it is so comforting. For me, when I make homemade soups and chili, it tends to remind me of my childhood. I immediately flashback to the days when my grandmother would make chili, ham bean soup, or chicken corn soup for us. I could never get enough of her soups!

Now with having my own family, I still get that warm and comforting feeling when sitting around the table with a bowl of soup. And , it’s a bonus when little man enjoys the soup too!

Below are the recipes for tonight’s comforting meal:

Almost White Chili

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 cups of water
2 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15-ounce cans of white or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 ears of corn, cut off the cob
1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, place water and chicken. Bring to a boil, and poach chicken about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and put on a plate to cool before chopping/shredding.

Strain poaching water used to cook chicken. Set water aside for use in chili.

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir about 30 seconds.

Add the beans, corn, chiles, cumin, cayenne, and poaching water.

Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes.

Add the chicken and continue to cook until heated thoroughly.

Add salt and pepper if needed.

Serve with toppings of your choice (shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro, etc.).

**Recipe adapted from: Flora Dawn

Homemade Corn Tortilla Chips

8-10 small corn tortillas
Cooking spray
Salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut corn tortillas into mini triangles (I cut the small ones into 8 triangles each).

Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Arrange tortilla slices and spray with cooking spray.

Sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 400º until they start to brown (about 5 minutes).

**Recipe credit: http://couldihavethat.blogspot.com

ENJOY!!

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Mexican Inspired Dinner — Taco-seaoned Baked Chicken with Black Bean Soup

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The yummy meal in the pictured above was created because my husband had asked for baked chicken for dinner tonight. I really wanted to do something different rather than the boring baked chicken I always make. After scouring my pantry, I realized I had several cans of black beans (likely from one of my extreme couponing grocery trips…LOL). So, after some research online, following are the recipes that my mind came up with!

Black Bean Soup —

2 tablespoons

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

2. cups stock (I used chicken stock because I was serving it with chicken)

Green pepper sauce (Tabasco) to taste

Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the green pepper, garlic, onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin. Add 2 cans of beans, and stock. In a separate bowl, mash the third can of beans with a fork or potato masher, and add. Add 5-6 dashes of green pepper sauce, or to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve toppings of your choice. I did avocado cream sauce (see recipe below), chopped green chillies, chopped red onion, shredded cheese.

**Recipe inspired by www.realsimple.com

Avocado Cream Sauce —

1 avocado, chopped

1/3 cup fat free sour cream

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp lime juice

Salt and pepper, to taste.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix until incorporated and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Taco-seasoned Baked Chicken —

8 chicken drumsticks

1 package coating mix, like Shake n’ Bake

1/2 package taco seasoning

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine coating mix and taco seasoning in bag. Place 2-3 chicken pieces into coating mixture. Shake/mix until chicken is coated. Place onto a greased (with cooking spray) baking sheet. Continue until all pieces are coated. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.

**Next time I will try boneless, skinless chicken breast. Preparing in the same manor, but would only bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.

I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as my family did!

Mexican Inspired Dinner — Taco-seaoned Baked Chicken with Black Bean Soup

Image

The yummy meal in the pictured above was created because my husband had asked for baked chicken for dinner tonight. I really wanted to do something different rather than the boring baked chicken I always make. After scouring my pantry, I realized I had several cans of black beans (likely from one of my extreme couponing grocery trips…LOL). So, after some research online, following are the recipes that my mind came up with!

Black Bean Soup —

2 tablespoons

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large onion, chopped kosher salt and black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed

2. cups stock (I used chicken stock because I was serving it with chicken)

Green pepper sauce (Tabasco) to taste

Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the green pepper, garlic, onion, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin. Add 2 cans of beans, and stock. In a separate bowl, mash the third can of beans with a fork or potato masher, and add. Add 5-6 dashes of green pepper sauce, or to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soup is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve toppings of your choice. I did avocado cream sauce (see recipe below), chopped green chillies, chopped red onion, shredded cheese.

**Recipe inspired by www.realsimple.com

Avocado Cream Sauce —

1 avocado, chopped

1/3 cup fat free sour cream

2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp lime juice

Salt and pepper, to taste.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Mix until incorporated and smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Taco-seasoned Baked Chicken —

8 chicken drumsticks

1 package coating mix, like Shake n’ Bake

1/2 package taco seasoning

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine coating mix and taco seasoning in bag. Place 2-3 chicken pieces into coating mixture. Shake/mix until chicken is coated. Place onto a greased (with cooking spray) baking sheet. Continue until all pieces are coated. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.

**Next time I will try boneless, skinless chicken breast. Preparing in the same manor, but would only bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.

I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as my family did!