Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chicken, Lentil & Chick Pea Soup

2 tbsp Bacon Fat
2 Ribs Celery – Diced
1 Onion – Diced
4 Large Garlic Cloves- Minced
1 tsp Grated Ginger
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Jalapeno – Seeded, Diced
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 tsp Fresh Thyme
1 Cup Lentils
6 Cups Chicken Stock
1 14.5 Can Diced Tomatoes
2 Cups Diced Chicken
2 Cans Chick Peas – drained

In a large pot over med/high heat add the bacon fat.  Add onions and celery. Cook for about 5-7 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add in ginger, salt, pepper, jalapeno, cumin, paprika, Dijon mustard and tomato paste.  Stir to combine and cook about 2 minutes.  Add in thyme and lentils and cook about 3-4 minutes.  Add in the chicken stock and simmer w/ a lid cracked for 20-25 minutes or until the lentil are cooked with a slight bite to them.

Add in the tomatoes, chicken and chick peas.  Simmer about 10-15 minutes or until the broth becomes a little thicker.  Enjoy.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Stuffing



1 ½ Loaves of French or Italian Bread – Cubed
2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Poultry Seasoning
½ Tsp Pepper

2 Tbsp Bacon Fat
½ Onion – Diced
1 Leek – Diced and rinsed in a bowl of water
2 Ribs Celery - Diced
2 Garlic Cloves – Minced
2 Eggs – Beaten
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Poultry Seasoning
1 Tbsp Pepper
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Celery Salt
6 Cups Turkey or Chicken Stock

In a large bowl combine the bread, evoo and seasonings and mix together.  Spread out on a sheet tray and cook in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until browned.

In a pan over med/high heat melt bacon fat and add in onion and leeks.  Cook about 15-20 minutes or until caramelized.  Add in the garlic and celery for the last 5 minutes.  In a large bowl beat eggs and add in salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, cayenne pepper and celery salt.  Add in the toasted bread and mix thoroughly. 

Pour mixture into a baking dish and add in the stock.  Press the bread mixture into the stock to soak it all in.  Cover with foil.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 ½ hours.  Take foil off and bake about another 30 minutes until stock is mostly absorbed and top is golden brown.

Peanut Butter Cup Squares

12 Tbsp Butter – Melted
2 Cups Pretzels – crushed in a blender but still some small bits.
1 ½ Cups Confectioners Sugar
1 Cup + ¼ Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1 ½ Cups Extra Dark Chocolate Chips
1 Tbsp Brewed Coffee (use leftover from morning)
1 Tsp Sea Salt

In a medium bowl combine the butter, pretzels, confectioners sugar and 1 cup peanut butter until mixed thoroughly.  Press into a 9 x 13 pan.  Wet your fingers to press it out evenly and not stick.

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, ¼ cup peanut butter and coffee.  Heat about 30-60 seconds to melt.  Stir to combine until smooth and pour over peanut butter mixture.  Set in fridge for about 10 minutes and then sprinkle top with salt.  Put back in fridge for about another 50 minutes.  Enjoy.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Roasted Brussels Sprouts



1 Hot Linguica Sausage Link (approx 7 oz) – Diced
1 lb. Brussels Sprouts – End trimmed and sliced in ½
1 Medium Onion – Sliced
2 Tbsp Bacon Fat
2 Garlic Cloves – Minced
1 tbsp Salt
½ tbsp Pepper
2 Cups Turkey Stock

In a large pan over low/medium heat add the sausage.  The goal is to cook it low and slow to render out the fat and make it crispy.  Mine took about 20 minutes.  Take sausage out and set aside.

Add in the sliced onion and cook about 3 minutes over medium/high heat.  Add in the bacon fat and brussels sprouts – sliced side down and cook about 5 minutes or until they are caramelized.  Add in the salt, pepper and turkey stock.  Cover and simmer about 20 minutes.  Remove lid, turn heat up to medium/high and cook about another 20 minutes or until all the liquid is gone.  Enjoy.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vegetable Beef Barley Soup



2 Cups Barley – Cooked
2 Tbsp EVOO
½ Pound Beef Chuck – Diced
1 Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Pepper
2 Tbsp Bacon Fat
1 Med. Onion – Diced
3 Carrots – Diced
1 Cup Cremini Mushrooms – Sliced
2 Celery Ribs – Diced
3 Cloves Garlic – Diced
3 Med. Potatoes – Peeled, Diced
1 Cup Green Beans – ½” Cut
¼ Cup Ketchup
½ Tbsp Mustard
½ Cup Marsalla Wine
¼ Tsp Fresh Rosemary – Finely chopped
4 Cups Beef Stock
4 tbsp Flour


Cook barley according to instructions – usually 45 minutes.  Set aside.  In a med-large pot add 2 tbsp EVOO over med-high heat.  Add the beef, salt & pepper and brown on all sides.  Set aside. 

Add bacon fat, onion, carrots, mushrooms.  Cook about 5-7 minutes.  Add in celery, garlic, and potatoes.  Cook another 5 minutes.  Add in green beans, ketchup, mustard.  Cook another 5 minutes.  Add in Marsalla wine to deglaze and cook about 5 minutes. 

Add back in beef, rosemary and beef stock.  Simmer about 2 hours with a lid slightly cracked.  Add in flour to thicken and cook about another 15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Serve with garlic bread to sop up the gravy.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Roasted Turkey Noodle Soup



2 Tbsp EVOO
1 Med. Onion – Diced
3 Carrots – Diced
1 Cup Cremini Mushrooms – Sliced
1 Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Pepper
2 Celery Ribs – Diced
3 Cloves Garlic – Diced
1 Cup Green Beans – ½” Cut
4 Cups Roasted Turkey
4 Cups Turkey Stock
4 tbsp Flour
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 8 oz. Pkg Egg Noodles


In a med-large pot add 2 tbsp EVOO over med-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, mushrooms.  Cook about 5-7 minutes.  Add salt & pepper.  Add in celery, garlic and green beans.  Cook another 5 minutes.  Add in 1 cup Turkey Stock to deglaze and cook about 5 minutes. 

Add in turkey and remaining stock.  Simmer about 2 hours with a lid slightly cracked.  Add in flour to thicken and cook about another 15 minutes.  Cook Egg Noodles for 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  After 2 hours add in peas and noodles.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Serve with garlic bread to sop up the gravy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Pommes De Terre a la Boulangere


1 Pkg Bacon – Cooked low and slow, fat rendered out (save) and bacon crisp & chopped.
1 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Bacon Fat
3 Med – Large Sweet Potatoes – Peeled & sliced about 1/8” thin (I use a Mandolin)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 4 oz. Goat Cheese
1 tsp Coriander
2 Cups Beef Broth

In large pan add bacon in an even layer.  Turn stove on to low - med. heat.  Cook bacon low and slow, rendering out fat until bacon is crispy.  Save fat.  Chop bacon into bits.

Butter a 9x13 baking dish, bottom and sides with 1 tbsp butter and bacon fat.  Take ½ of the potatoes and create 2 layers with each slice overlapping the previous one.  Sprinkle 1/2 of the salt, pepper and cinnamon over potatoes.  Break up ½ of the goat cheese and drop evenly over potatoes.  Sprinkle ½ of the bacon over potatoes. Repeat potatoes, seasonings, goat cheese and bacon.  Sprinkle coriander over top.  Add 2 cups beef broth.  Pour down the side so as not to disrupt the toppings.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and place in preheated 300 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours.  (I put my dish on a cookie sheet just in case there was any spill over.)  Take foil off and cook another 20 minutes to let the top layer of potatoes brown and crisp.  Test with a knife to make sure potatoes are fully cooked.  Let rest for at least 15 minutes before you cut into it to let the beef broth soak into the potatoes.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Oreo Cookie Cocoa Pebbles Krispie Treats



1 Stick Butter
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Brewed Coffee – cooled
1 tsp Cocoa Powder
12 Oreo Cookies – Chopped
7 Cups Rice Krispies
6 Cups Cocoa Pebbles
2 16 oz. Bags Mini Marshmallows

Grease a 9x13” baking pan w/ butter.

In a large bowl combine cookies, cocoa pebbles and rice krispies.  In a large pot over med/high heat melt butter, salt, coffee, cocoa powder.  Add in marshmallows and whisk until melted.  Once melted continue to cook for about another 3-4 minutes, until they start to foam up. 

Pour over cookies and cereal and mix to cover quickly.  Pour into baking pan, wet hands, and flatten out to an even layer.  Set aside to cool and set up about 30 minutes.  Cut into about 1” squares and enjoy.

Dried Cherry & Pistachio Brittle


2 ½ Cup Sugar
1 ¼ Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Water
1 Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Butter
1 Tsp Cayenne Powder
1 Tsp Espresso Powder
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
¾ Cup Pistachios – Chopped
¾ Cup Dried Cherries - Chopped

Line a cookie sheet (w/ sides) with parchment paper.  I used an 11 x 16” pan.  Spray generously w/ non stick spray.

In a large sauce pan (I used a Dutch oven), over high heat combine, sugar, corn syrup, water, salt, butter, cayenne pepper & espresso powder.  Stir with whisk until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes or until candy thermometer reads 290 degrees.  NOTE:  You HAVE to use a candy thermometer and get the temperature to 290 or it won’t work.

Add baking soda.  It will foam up, don’t worry.  Keep stirring and whisk in dried cherries and pistachios.  You must work quickly because this reaction happens FAST.  Pour mixture onto cookie sheet and spread out evenly.  Let cool for about ½ hour, then crack brittle and enjoy.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Pt. 2

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ cup butter – room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs + 1 Egg White – beaten
2 Tbsp Brewed coffee (just use leftover from the morning or cooled)
2  cups mashed roasted bananas – Mashed – (Roasted in a 400 degree oven for 1 hour)
½ cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan

In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt & cinnamon. In a large bowl cream together butter, brown sugar, eggs, coffee until well blended. Beat in flour mixture in 3rds to the wet mixture.  Fold in chocolate chips and bananas until mixed.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of cake.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookie Stuffed Fudge Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookies:
2 ¼ Cup Flour
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
1 Cup Butter (softened)
¾ Cup Sugar
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Large Eggs
1 12 oz Package of Dark Chocolate Chips

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  Set aside.  In a large bowl beat the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until combined.  Add the eggs 1 at a time to combine.  In 3 batches add the flour and mix to combine.  Add choc. chips and mix to combine.

Fudge Brownies:
1 Box of Fudge Brownie Mix
2 Eggs
¼ Cup Water
¾ Cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp Salt
¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp Brewed Coffee (cooled)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl add brownie mix, eggs, water, oil, salt, cayenne pepper and coffee.  Whisk to combine.

Grease muffin pans with butter or cooking spray.  Fill muffin cups ¾ full with brownie mix.  Using a 1” cookie scoop (or using teaspoons to make a 1” diameter ball), scoop cookie dough into the center of the brownie mix.  Bake for about 26 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*** You will have extra choc. chip cookie dough.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and scoop 1” balls of the cookie dough onto the sheet.  Place in a 375 Degree oven for about 11 minutes.  Should yield about 50 chocolate chip cookies.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lentil & Sausage Soup




1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Large Link of Linguica Hot Sausage - Diced
1 Large Onion – Diced
2 Ribs Celery – Diced
1 Large Carrot – Diced
5 Gloves Garlic – Peeled and chopped
2 1/3 Cups Dried Lentils
1 Cup Red Wine
2 1/4 Quarts Water
3 Bay Leaves
1 Tsp Fresh Thyme
1 Can Diced Tomatoes – Drained
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper

In a large pot over med/high heat add EVOO and sausage.  Cook for about 5 minutes to render the fat.  Add in onions and cook 5 minutes, Add celery, garlic and carrots and cook for 3 minutes.  Add in wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add in dried lentils and cook for about 3 minutes.

Add in water and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Add in bay leaves, thyme and tomatoes.  Simmer, partially covered for about 30 - 35 minutes.  Take out bay leaves, add salt and pepper and adjust seasoning to taste.  The lentils should have a bit of a bite to them.  If they are mushy, you’ve over cooked them (they’re tricky so just watch the time).

Serve with a nice piece of crusty bread to sop up all the broth.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Roast Chicken Tortilla Soup



1 Package Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (about 12)
1 Cup Apple Juice
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Pepper
1 Tsp Garlic Powder
1 Tsp Onion Powder
1 Tbsp Fajita Seasoning (or Taco)

In a bowl combine seasonings and coat chicken.  In a large pan add the apple juice and then the chicken.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes.  Cool for about 15 minutes then remove the chicken and shred.  Put the remaining juices in a small saucepan and reduce by half. Skim off the fat and set aside.

1 Cup Wild Rice (I used a wild rice mixture)
2 Tbsp Bacon Fat
6 Cups Water - boiling

Over high heat in a med. sauce pan add the bacon fat and the rice.  Cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the water, cover w/ lid, reduce heat to low simmer and cook for 45 minutes.  Drain off any residual liquid.

4 Tbsp Bacon Fat
1 Med. Onion – Diced
2 Carrots – Diced
2 Celery Stalks – Diced
6 Garlic Cloves – Minced
½ Anaheim Pepper – Diced
1 Tsp Salt
½ Tsp Pepper
1 Tsp Cumin
¼ Tsp Cayenne
¼ Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
8 Cups Chicken Stock - boiling
1 Can Diced Tomatoes
1 Can Black Beans – Drained
1 Cup Frozen Corn
5 Corn Tortillas - torn

In a large pan add the bacon fat, onion & carrots.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes.  Add the celery and garlic and cook about another 3 minutes.  Add the Anaheim pepper, salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, red pepper flakes and cook another 5 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, the reserved from earlier chicken juices, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add in the chicken thighs, tomatoes, black beans and corn.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Add in the torn corn tortillas and cook about 10 minutes.

Take 10 Corn Tortillas (taco size) and cut into strips.  Spray w/ cooking spray and sprinkle w/ fajita seasoning.  Bake on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve soup w/ a garnish of the baked tortillas on top and maybe a few slices of avocado and a squeeze of a wedge of lime.



Bacon Pistachio Brittle


2 ½ Cup Sugar
1 ¼ Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Water
1 Tsp Salt
1/3 Cup Butter
1/8 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp Espresso Powder
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
1 Package Bacon – Rendered slow and cooked till extra crispy - chopped
1 ½ Cups Pistachios – Chopped

Line a cookie sheet (w/ sides) with parchment paper.  I used an 11 x 16” pan.  Spray generously w/ non stick spray.

In a large sauce pan (I used a Dutch oven), over high heat combine, sugar, corn syrup, water, salt, butter, cayenne pepper & espresso powder.  Stir with whisk until sugar is dissolved.  Bring to a boil for about 10 minutes or until candy thermometer reads 290 degrees.  NOTE:  You HAVE to use a candy thermometer and get the temperature to 290 or it won’t work).

Add baking soda.  It will foam up, don’t worry.  Keep stirring and whisk in bacon and pistachios.  You must work quickly because this reaction happens FAST.  Pour mixture onto cookie sheet and spread out evenly.  Let cool for about ½ hour, then crack brittle and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup



1 Pkg Chicken Thighs – Bone in, Skin on (about 12 pieces)
Water
2 Tbsp Salt
2 Tbsp Pepper
1 Onion – Chopped
2 Carrots – Chopped
2 Ribs Celery – Chopped
5 Garlic Cloves – Smashed

2 Cups Wild Rice (I used a rice blend)
2 Tbsp Bacon Fat
6 Cups Water - Hot
1 Tsp Pepper
1 Tbsp Roasted Mushroom Spice (I make my own but you can use 1 cup chopped fresh Crimini mushrooms)
Pinch Cayenne

1 Med. Onion – Diced
2 Ribs Celery – Diced
4 Carrots – Peeled /Diced
1 Cup Green Beans – 1/2” cut
1 Cup Potatoes – Peeled / Diced
1 Med. Zucchini – Diced

In a large pot add chicken, salt, pepper, onion, carrots, celery, garlic and cover with water to about 1” from the top.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook about 45 minutes.

In a medium sized pot, add bacon fat and rice.  Stir to coat and cook (constantly stirring) about 4-5 minutes.  Add in water, pepper, mushroom spice (or mushrooms), cayenne.  Reduce to simmer, cover and cook about 45 minutes.

Once cooked, remove chicken from pot and let cool.  Remove bones and skin and shred chicken.  Strain broth and skim fat.  To the broth, add in chicken, onion, celery, carrots, green beans, potatoes, zucchini.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add in rice and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Delumpkin Pumpkin Cake


1 - 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 cup melted butter
1/4 cup strong, cold coffee
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cup Werther's Caramel Specialties Caramelts, chopped (15 candies) or butterscotch morsels

 DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large microwave safe mixing bowl, melt the butter for 2 minutes in microwave. Remove and add the pumpkin, cold coffee, vanilla and sugars, stirring to combine. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, stirring well to combine. Add the eggs and beat with a wooden spoon until well combined; add flour and mix only until all the flour is incorporated into the batter. Stir in the chopped Werther's candies (or butterscotch morsels) and turn into a 9x13-inch baking pan that has been greased and floured (I use Baker's Joy spray). Bake for 30-37 minutes or until center springs back when touched. Cool in pan on a wire rack until completely cool, if frosting.

Delicious, silkily moist pumpkin cake that can be dressed up with cream cheese frosting, whipped cream or enjoyed completely naked.

Recipe courtesy of: 




Monday, October 7, 2013

Beef Stew



2 1/2lbs cubed beef
½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
8 tbsp EVOO (4 tbsp into 2 batches)

2 tbsp EVOO
1 Medium Onion – Diced
3 Large Carrots – Diced
3 Ribs Celery – Diced
1 Cup Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
5 Cloves of Garlic – Minced
2 Med. Potatoes- Peeled & Diced
1 Cup Red Wine
¼ Cup Worcestershire Sauce
3 tbsp Grain Mustard
1 cup Green Beans – ½” dice
1 cup Frozen Peas
1 Cup Frozen Corn
4 Cups Beef Broth
1 Cup Water

In a large bowl cover the beef in flour, salt, pepper. Shake off the excess. In a large pot over med/high heat add 4 tbsp EVOO. Add the beef in 2 batches and brown on all sides and then set aside.

Add in another 2 tbsp EVOO and onions.  Cook for 2 minutes then add in carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, potatoes and cook for 5 minutes.  Add in red wine, Worcestershire sauce and mustard and cook for 5 minutes

Add in green beans. Cook for about 5 minutes then add in peas and corn.  Cook for 2 minutes then add in beef broth and water.

Simmer for about 20 minutes, adjust seasonings and then serve.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Pork Loin Veggie Lo Mein


EVOO
1 Cup Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
1 Cup Green Beans – ½” slices
½ Bunch Asparagus – ½ “ slices
1 Cup Broccoli – Chopped
1 Cup Red Peppers – Sliced & Cut in ½
1 Savoy Cabbage – Shredded
2 Cups Pork Loin – Cooked & Sliced
1 Cup Bean Sprouts
1 lb Spaghetti

Sauce:
4 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
3 tbsp Dijon Mustard
3 tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Peanut Butter
½ tbsp Ginger – Grated
1 Cup Chicken Stock
2 Green Onions – Diced (for garnish)
2 tbsp Sesame Seeds (for garnish)

In a large sautee pan over med/high heat add 2 tbsp EVOO.  Add mushrooms and cook on each side to brown, about 3 minutes per side.  Remove mushrooms.  Add about 1 tbsp EVOO and add in green beans, asparagus, broccoli.  Cook about 5 minutes until browned.  Remove from pan.  Add 1 tbsp EVOO and cabbage.  Cook about 8 minutes until caramelized.

In a large pot of boiling water, cook spaghetti according to directions (about 8 minutes).  Reserve about 1 cup of liquid if needed to thin out sauce.

While pasta is cooking, in a small pan over med / low heat add soy sauce, sesame oil, mustard, brown sugar, peanut butter, ginger and chicken stock.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring to combine and not burn.

In a large bowl add in the pasta, veggies, bean sprouts, cooked pork loin and the sauce.  Combine fully.  If needed to thin out the sauce add in some of the pasta water.

Garnish with green onions & sesame seeds.  Enjoy.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Red Beans & Rice



3 tablespoons bacon grease
1/2 Med. Onion – Diced
1 Rib Celery - Diced
1/2 Red Pepper – Diced
1 Hatch Chili – Diced (could substitute Anaheim)
5 Cloves Garlic – Smashed / grind into paste
2 Cups Ham – Chopped
1 Large Link Hot Smoked Sausage – Remove casing / Dice
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Fresh Thyme
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 of a 7 oz Can of Chipotle Sauce
8 Cups Chicken Stock - Hot
2 Cups Water - Hot
4 Cans of Red Beans – rinsed & drained (separated into 2 batches)
4 Cups Cooked White Rice

Directions

In a large pot, heat the bacon grease over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the celery and pepper/chili and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from pot but leave the grease behind.

Add the ham and sausage to the pot and brown for about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and add about 1/4 cup water and put a lid on it slightly cracked open.  The time here will vary but the idea is to render all the fat out of the sausage and crisp up the ham/sausage.  Mine took about 5 minutes, remove the lid and cook another 5 minutes stirring about every minute.

Add the onion mixture back into the ham/sausage.  Add salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, paprika, cumin and chipotle sauce.  Stir to combine and cook about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and water to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer covered w/ the lid slightly cracked.  Add in 1/2 the beans.  The remaining half of beans you need to mash up with a fork then add into pot.  Stir to combine.  The smashed beans will thicken the sauce.  Simmer for about 1/2 hour or until the sauce becomes the consistency of a thin gravy. 

Adjust seasonings accordingly and serve over white rice w/ green onions or parsley as a garnish.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Marshmallow Fudge Brownies


1 Cup Butter
½ Cup Chocolate Chips – divided into ¼ cups
2 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs – Room temp.
1 tsp Vanilla
½ tsb Salt
2 tbsp Coffee – brewed – leftover from morning
½ tsp Espresso Powder
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Marshmallows – small

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13” pan generously (and maybe even line it with parchment paper).

In a pot over low heat melt butter and then add in ¼ cup chocolate chips whisking constantly to melt.  Remove from heat and stir in the sugar.  Let cool a few minutes.

Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time and then add the vanilla, salt, coffee, cayenne pepper & baking powder.  Whisk until combined.  Add in the flour and whisk to combine.

Pour ½ of the batter into the pan.  Sprinkle w/ marshmallows and remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chips.  Pour remaining batter over and jiggle pan to even out.

Bake about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool COMPLETELY before removing from pan.  * The marshmallows make this brownie stick to the pan so be patient getting them out of the pan.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Bacon Sugar Cookies w/a Chocolate Ganache





2 ¾ Cups Flour
1 tbsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Baking Powder
1 Cup Butter – Room temp
1 ½ Cups White Sugar
1 Egg – Room temp
1 tsp Vanilla
2 tbsp Water
¼ tsp Salt
1 Cup Bacon – Crispy and Chopped
¼ Cup Choc. Chips
Pinch of Salt
¼ tsp Espresso Powder
2 tbsp Coffee – leftover from morning
2 tbsp Heavy Cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder – set aside.  In a large bowl add butter and sugar.  Mix together to cream, about 2-3 minutes.  Add in egg and vanilla.  Mix to combine.  In 3 batches add in the dry ingredients and ¼ tsp salt.

Mix in bacon.  My dough was sort of thick so I mixed it with my hands and gradually added in 2 tbsp of water until it brought it all together.

Using a small cookie scoop (or your hands) place balls of dough on un-greased cookie sheet (should be about 1” ball).

Most sugar cookie recipes say to bake about 8-10 minutes.  For some reason these took about 14 minutes in the oven to become crisp and slightly browned on top.  Cook cookies completely.

Over a double boiler (making sure the bowl does NOT touch the water) add chocolate chips, cream, and liquid coffee.  Wisk to melt and then add in pinch of salt and espresso powder.  Wisk to combine.  The chocolate should be thick but liquefied and coat the back of your wisk.

Either drizzle over the cookies or place a dollop in the center.  Wait for chocolate to cool and serve.  It’s a delicious cookie of sweet, salty, crunchy.  Enjoy.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

3 Meat Chili


4 tbsp EVOO
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 lb Ground Pork
2 lb Ground Beef
1 Large Onion Diced
6 Cloves of Garlic – diced
2 Jalapenos – Seeded – diced
1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms – diced
1 Green Pepper – Seeded – diced
1 Red Pepper – Seeded – diced
1 Can Black Beans – rinsed
1 Can Chipotle Sauce
1 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Onion Powder
1 tbsp Coarse Salt
1 tbsp Ground Pepper
1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
2 tbsp Chili Powder
1 Jar Pasta Sauce

In a large pot on med / high heat add the EVOO and onion. Cook for 5 minutes then add garlic and jalapenos. Stir and cook another 5 minutes.  Remove and add another 2 tbsp EVOO and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove veggies and add in meats in 3 batches and cook about 5 minutes or until browned.  When removing each batch of meat from pot, put in a colander to drain the fat.   After last batch of meat has browned, remove excess fat from pot.  Add veggies and meat back to pot.  Add in Chipotle sauce and spices.  Cook about 10 minutes. Add in Green / Red Peppers and pasta sauce.  Simmer about 10 minutes (or longer for depth of flavor).  Adjust seasoning if necessary.  Serve by itself or with cheese, sour cream or other garnishes.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Peanut Butter / Fudge / Marshmallow / Caramel Candy


INGREDIENTS
PIE CRUST:
25 cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies
4 tablespoon butter, melted

PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

CARAMEL:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 stick butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

MARSHMALLOWS:
½ bag mini marshmallows

CHOCOLATE FUDGE:
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp brewed / cooled coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, break up the cookies & butter into small pieces and press into a buttered 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake for 11 minutes. 

For the peanut butter fudge: Put the confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar, whipping cream and salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the confectioners' sugar and mix. Spoon the mixture into the cookie pie crust until it is completely covered. 

For the caramel: In a small saucepan, combine the heavy cream, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, whipping cream, butter and salt. Heat over low heat until the butter is completely melted. Gradually increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Continue to wisk until the temperature on a candy thermometer reads 250 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and pour over the peanut butter fudge. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, about 7-10 minutes until it forms a loose ball and pulls away from the sides.
For the marshmallows:  Sprinkle the marshmallows over the caramel layer evenly.
For the chocolate fudge: Put the confectioners' sugar in a large mixing bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cream, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat. Stir in the chocolate, coffee and vanilla until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture over the confectioners' sugar. Beat with an electric mixer for 3 to 4 minutes until very smooth. Spread evenly over the marshmallow layer with a spatula. 
 Cool for about 30 minutes at room temperature for 30 minutes and then cool in fridge for about an hour. Then cut into 1” squares and serve.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Roasted Carrot & Cauliflower Ginger Soup 2


Ingredients:
7 Carrots - Peeled – Cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Whole Cauliflower - Cut into florets
1 Med. Onion – But into 4 pieces
5 Garlic Cloves – Smashed & Peeled
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Pepper
1/2 tbsp Onion Powder
1/2tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tbsp Grated Ginger
1 tbsp Curry Powder
5 Cups Veggie Stock

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a sheet pan add carrots, cauliflower, onion & garlic.  Coat in the EVOO, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.  Mix together and spread out on an even layer.  Cook for 1 hour, flipping over 1/2 way through.

In a large pot heat veggie stock to a simmer.  Add in vegetables, curry & ginger.  Simmer 10 minutes.  With an immersion blender (or blender or food processor) blend soup till smooth.  Add about 1 cup of water to thin out the soup a bit (if necessary).  Taste to adjust seasoning.  Simmer about 10 minutes and serve. * I garnished my soup w/ fried kale.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Super Fudgy Bacon Brownies w/a Cayenne Kick


2 Boxes Mocha Fudge Brownie Mix
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
½ Cup Coffee (I just use left over from morning)
4 Eggs
1 ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Salt
½ Cup Tiny Chocolate Chips
1 ½ Cups Bacon – chopped finely

Set oven to 350 degrees.  Line 13 x 9” pan w/ parchment paper (bottom & sides).  Spray parchment paper w/ non stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together brownie mix, oil, coffee, eggs, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, salt.

Pour ½ of the batter into the pan.  Sprinkle ½ of the chocolate chips evenly over the batter.  Pour remainder of batter into pan.  Coat batter with the bacon and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips.  Dust with the remaining ½ tsp cayenne pepper.  Lightly pat the topping into the brownie mix.

Bake in oven for about 40 minutes.  Check brownies w/ a tooth pick to make sure it comes out clean and the brownies are done.

Cool and cut into about 1” squares.