Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Mom's Sweet Chili Recipe

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I grew up loving chili.  But not all chili, just my mom's sweet chili.  As far as I'm concerned there is nothing better.  My husband is known for his spicy chili's, but for me, I love the sweet taste with the vinegar bite that reminds me of mom.  This is the kind of chili you can serve anyone.  Kids love it because of the lack of heat and grownups love the distinct taste.  Mom's chili gets its vinegar bite from the chili sauce, if you're not a big fan of that taste, scale back the chili sauce and add some ketchup.  (I, however, love that bite!)  :)
We also have another tradition that goes along with this chili....we serve it over white rice.  Yep, rice.  It wasn't until I met my husband that I found out most people don't eat their chili that way!  For me, it's the ONLY way to eat chili!  :)  Topped with some shredded cheddar cheese and I'm a very happy girl.
Thanks mom!  

What's your favorite chili recipe??  
Share and Add it to the comments box!!
(links welcome!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Super Quick Pasta with Green Veggies

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Yesterday I was getting a rare treat...a sushi dinner with friends.  NO kids!  I have only been out without my girls twice in the last 5 months.  Not for a lack of trying, it's just been beyond busy.  So, last night I was heading out for dinner and enjoy the company of grownups.  Of course, what did we end up talking about most of the night?  That's right, our kids.  Ah well, it was still a great time.
Before I left, I wanted to make sure my girls had something yummy for dinner.  I raided my mom's pantry and freezer for ideas.  (we're camping out at grandma's until we ship out to Saudi next week)
I spied a bag of pasta and some frozen veggies.  Perfect.  If it has noodles, my kids will eat it.  Period. 
This is such a simple dish with light flavors and a nice punch of veggie goodness.  Spike it with some red pepper flakes for a more grown up taste.  :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kale and Beef Stir-Fry

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Okay, so if you're paying any attention to the latest food trends you'd know that kale is one of the new "it" foods.  What is kale?
Kale is a leafy green.  There are three different kinds.  Russian Red, Dinosaur Kale (aka tuscan kale), and the most popular Curly Green Kale (this is the easiest to find).  
Kale is a great brain booster and is rich in B6 vitamins and alpha-linolenic acids (building blocks for creating new brain cells).  It is also a great fatigue fighter because it can absorb iron from chicken, fish or beef and help supply more oxygen to your muscles.
When preparing kale, make sure to cut out the inner membrane (the stiff piece that goes up the middle of the leaf) and discard the stems.  
There are tons of recipes out know for kale.  In my Smokey Minestrone Tortellini Soup I add it at the end for some extra veggie punch.  This stir-fry recipe turned out great.  It's super easy to make and you can tweak the recipe to what you have on hand.  Through it over some steamed white rice and you're good to go!  

Mexican Beer Battered Fish Tacos

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I don't think I ever ate a fish taco until I moved to Cali.  Now, I can honestly say, I love them.  But, I'm in love with the nice, fried kind...not the healthy grilled kind.  Go figure.  But, that's okay, if you can't have a few sinful dishes every now and then...well, that's just not livin'!  
I found this recipe on Food Network.  It got rave reviews so I just had to give it a try.  I've never made the fish using a batter before...and, wow, these just turned out great!  Nice and crispy with wonderful flavor.  I really liked the white sauce with it, but the tomatillo sauce I bought was very mild, wish it would have had a bit more kick.  All in all, I would totally make these again...though, in Saudi, I may have to get more beer and all.  :(

Friday, October 7, 2011

Texas Sheet Cake

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Yesterday my mother-in-law was just craving something chocolate.  We brainstormed some ideas and I stumbled on a recipe online about a chocolate sheet cake.  Now, if you've kept up with my blog, you know I don't bake all.  I had never heard of a sheet cake, but of course, my mother in law had.  Then she says, "I think I have a recipe for sheet cake" and she pulls out her big ol' Texas box of recipes.  And sure enough, she had one.  What was really funny was that it was almost identical to the one that I found online.
She told me that she's had this recipe for over 20 years and she just went to work.  They cake is super easy to make and is done in 20 minutes!  And, oh my, the's enough to make anyone addicted to chocolate.  It was moist and that little hint of cinnamon really did the trick.  You take this to a get together and I can promise you'll be bringing home an empty baking sheet.  Maybe I'll go sneak another piece....

are you wishing you could eat a picture??

Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs with Smokey Marinara

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I recently signed up for Pillsbury's daily newsletter.  I'm not a huge fan of their recipes mostly because they are not very healthy and they constantly use name brand items.  But, I did see this reicpe and thought it was a fun easy dish to make for me and my girls.
I wanted to add a bit more pizzazz, so I made my own smokey marinara (you can find the recipe here:  Smokey Marinara)  I really wanted to use bucatini noodles, but I couldn't find any at the store.  So, I settled for good ol' spaghetti.  I think next time I'll try a different cheese...the string cheese didn't melt very well.  But, all in all, it was a great dish.  :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sausage, White Bean and Kale Stew

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I am in full blown soup mode.  All the wonderful stews and soups to cook over the fall season has me so excited.  Of course, it's still 90 plus degrees here in Texas, but that's never stopped me.  :)  
I had to buy kale to make my Smokey Minestrone Tortellini Soup and I knew I would have extra.  Months ago I made a great soup with kale and sausage, so I googled that one again.  
As I was making this soup I kept thinking...I should add something.  But, then I stopped myself.  Sometimes, simple is just perfect.  So, with the few ingredients, I threw this meal together in under 30 minutes.  Served with some toasted bread. 
There is a ton of room to play with different types of sausage.  Since my father-in-law doesn't care for pork, I used smoked turkey sausage.  But, any sausage will work and add new flavors to the dish.  If I could find the duck sausage mentioned in the recipe, I would love to try that!  Oh and, don't skip the lemon juice...really makes the dish light and bright.  Happy cooking!

Marsala-Glazed Winter Veggies

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I decided to cook up my Simple Roast Chicken for dinner and I wanted a nice side to go along with it.  I haven't gotten over how yummy the rutabaga's were in my Bloody Mary Pot Roast and I started surfing for a recipe.  I found this nice mix of lovely winter veggies with a light Marsala sauce.  
The grocery store didn't have any parsnips in stock so I used turnips instead.  Turned out great.  Also, to save time, I just purchased a bag of frozen pearl onions and added them at the same time as the Brussels sprouts in the pot.  All the veggies were tender and full of flavor.  I think next time I would add more rutabaga, and perhaps both turnips and parsnips.  Great fall side that I can't wait to make again.

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