Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Nothing sounds better to me than a warm bowl of chili on a cool night. Chili is one of my staples when the weather turns cold. It also helps get dinner on the table, since I can make a big batch of it and eat it for 2 to 3 nights. It is a great meal served with cornbread, grilled cheese, or just a peanut butter sandwich. Basically anything you can dunk into the bowl!! I like to cook my chili in the crock pot and let it simmer for a few hours.

1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 large red onion
2 green bell peppers
2 15oz cans chili beans
2 15oz cans tomatoes with green chilies
1 9oz can green chilies
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup water

Brown beef in skillet until cooked through.
Dice onion and pepper and saute in skillet until tender.
Add beef, onion, and pepper to crock pot.
Add beans, tomatoes, chilies, spices, and water to crock pot.
Heat on high for 3 hours.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Great Bottle of Wine leads to Surf and Turf Night

A few years ago we purchased a 2002 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley in Oregon. 2002 was considered to be one of the all time greatest vintages of Pinot in Oregon. We had been wanting to open this bottle on a special occasion, but it hasn't happened. We looked at some wine vintage charts, and people were saying that the time to drink this wine is now. We were not going to let this bottle sit, so we said any day we opened the bottle it would be a special occasion!!! I suggested filet to my husband and he said "Why don't you just get a couple lobster tails too?" I didn't argue. We had a great lobster tail with garlic butter, Gorgonzola topped filet, baked potatoes, bread, and a fall inspired spinach salad. The wine did not disappoint. It was well worth the wait. It was very balanced, with a nice smooth finish with a hint of tannins.

Fall Inspired Spinach Salad
1 bag washed baby spinach
3 pieces turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 honeycrisp apple, diced
walnuts, chopped
Gorgonzola cheese
raspberry vinaigrette, purchased

Mix spinach, bacon, apple, walnuts, and cheese in bowl.
Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Lobster Tails with Garlic Butter
2 9oz lobster tails, frozen
3 cloves garlic
1 stick butter

Place frozen lobster tails in cold water and soak for 1 hour to thaw.
Change the water every 20 minutes.
With kitchen shears, cut a large V shape (with the point on the end of the fin) and remove to expose the lobster meat.
Spread the tail open.
Place tails on a broiler pan.
Broil shell side down for 3 minutes.
Flip tails over and broil for 7 more minutes.
Melt butter in small saucepan with 3 cloves of smashed garlic.
Heat until butter melted and the garlic is fragrant.
Remove the garlic, and place the butter in a lobster butter warmed set and drizzle some on the tails.
Light the tea light candle to keep the butter warm.

Grilled Filet Mignon topped with Gorgonzola Cheese
2 10 oz filet mignon steaks
salt, pepper
Gorgonzola cheese

Preheat grill to high heat.
Sprinkle both side of the steaks with salt and pepper.
Sear the steaks for about 5 minutes per side.
Sprinkle the cheese on steaks and place in the oven on broil to melt the cheese for about 1-2 minutes.

Hot Apple Cider with Rum

This is the perfect way to end a long chilly day. A nice mug of warm apple cider with rum. Mmmm!!

Hot Apple Cider with Rum

1 oz rum
6oz apple cider
Pour into to mug.
Microwave for 90 seconds.

Open Faced Cheddar and Turkey Sandwich

I had some leftover Italian bread, lunch meat, and cheese to use up so I made this quick and satisfying lunch.

Open Faced Cheddar and Turkey Sandwich

4 thick slices of Italian bread
4 slices turkey lunch meat
4 slices cheddar
dijon mustard

Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Place bread on cookie sheet.
Spear with mustard and mayonnaise.
Top with turkey and cheese.
Bake for about 4-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Chicken Quesadillas

Quesadillas are a quick weeknight meal that is quick, easy, and delicious. You can use whatever meat, cheese, veggies, or beans you have leftover in the fridge (corn, black beans, peppers, onion, mushrooms, etc).

Chicken Quesadillas

6 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded chicken
1 cup shredded jack cheese
sour cream, salsa, and avocado for dipping

Heat large skillet on medium.
Place 1 tortilla in a dry skillet.
Let the tortilla warm for about 5 seconds then flip the tortilla over.
Place a thin layer of cheese, chicken, and more cheese on tortilla.
Place second tortilla on cheese.
Heat until the cheese is mostly melted, and the bottom tortilla is browned slightly.
Flip the tortillas over to brown the second side.
Remove from pan and cut into wedges.
Serve with sour cream, salsa, and avocado or guacamole.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I am now a featured publisher on
Feel free to join me. Meet new friends, and check out some great recipes!!

Green Tortilla Soup

I wanted another dish to use up some of the beer can chicken I made, and since it's fall I wanted a fast soup to make on a weeknight. I saw this soup on the Rachael Ray Show. It looked fast, easy, and delicious!!! The soup is "green" from tomatillos. On her show, she said you could use fresh tomatillos or salsa verde. I show salsa verde. Here is a link to the recipe.

I am submitting this recipe to Joelen's blogging event Tasty Tools-Dutch Oven. Here is a link to her great blog with lots of blogging events to enjoy.

Green Tortilla Soup
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
15oz can corn
4 corn tortillas, cut into strips
cooking spray
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb precooked shredded chicken
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
2 tsp cumin
2 jalapeno chilies, chopped
16oz jar salsa verde
2 cups cilantro, chopped
zest and juice of 2 limes
2 cups shredded jack cheese
1 avocado, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the tortilla strips onto a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
Bake strips until crispy for about 8 minutes.
Preheat a dutch oven or large pot on medium-high heat.
Add oil, onion, garlic, and cumin to pot and cook until soft about 3-4 minutes.
Add corn and jalapenos.
Add salsa verde, stock, water, and chicken to pot.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat, and add cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice.
To serve place some tortilla strips into bowl, add soup, and top with cheese and avocado.

Beer Can Chicken turned into Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

This week was my week to choose a recipe for our cooking group the Weekend Wizards, and we are following a fall theme this round. I chose to do a savory pumpkin dish. The recipe comes from Everyday Food from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living's cookbook Great Food Fast. Here is a link to the original recipe.

Whole chickens were on sale at my grocery store this week, so I decided to make 2 beer can chickens and use the chicken in 2 dishes this week. Here is a link to my previous beer can chicken.
I changed to rub on the beer can chicken to 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp garlic, and 1 tsp chili powder.

I made a terrible mess in the kitchen when I was preparing the pumpkin sauce!! I used my food processor to make the sauce (the recipe says to use a blender-guess I didn't read it good enough) and adding 2 & 1/2 cups of water was too much liquid for it too handle. Orange liquid filled my kitchen counter, and onto the floor. After cleaning up, I poured the remains into a BLENDER, added more chili powder, pumpkin, and water.

My husband loved the dish!! I had tried the pumpkin sauce before baking and was sure the dish was going to be a disaster. After cooking the sauce, it really complimented the chicken.

This dish can be assembled up to eight hours ahead of time; refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to bake (add a few minutes to the cooking time).

Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

1 whole chicken-about 3-4 lbs (skin removed, and meat shredded)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
15oz can pumpkin puree
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 jalapeno chilies, quartered
2 tsp chili powder
8 corn tortillas (8")
1 & 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, scallions and season with salt & pepper.
Set mixture aside.
In a blender, puree the pumpkin, garlic, jalapeno, chili powder, 2 & 1/2 cups water, 2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper until smooth.
Pour 1 cup of the sauce into a 9x13 baking dish.
Spoon a mound of the chicken mixture into the center of each tortilla, and roll into a log and place seam side down in the dish.
Pour the remaining sauce on top, and cover with cheese.
Bake until cheese is golden brown, and sauce is bubbling-about 25-30 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Apple Rosemary Pork Tenderloin

Here is another recipe from the Weekend Wizards fall theme meals. This recipe is from I made a few changes, and the pork was so moist and flavorful!!! This recipe is pretty involved for a weeknight meal, but I will save it again for a fall weekend. I served the pork with smashed red skin potatoes.

Apple Rosemary Pork Tenderloin
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 & 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 & 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
3 lb pork tenderloin (used two 1 & 1/2 lb tenderloins)
12 oz apple cider
3 Granny Smith apples, cored and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
5 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Trim silver skin off of both pork tenderloins.
Mix rosemary, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper.
Rub herb mixture on pork tenderloins.
Place tenderloins in a roasting pan.
Pour cider in pan.
Place apples and onions on and around tenderloin in pan.
Spoon brown sugar over entire pan evenly.
Roast for about 45 minutes, until the pork reaches 155 degrees with a meat thermometer.
Remove meat from pan and most of the juices, and continue to roast apples and onions another 20 minutes.
In a skillet, place flour, and the juices from the pan.
Stir in maple syrup.
Cook and stir over medium heat until liquid has thickened to desired consistency.