Archive for the ‘Comfort Food’ Category

Vegetable Chili

In Comfort Food, Entrees, Leftovers on February 24, 2011 at 1:25 am

As you all already know, I LOVE chili and I really LOVE when there are a lot of leftovers. I normally make my chili with some kind of meat, but this was just too good a recipe to pass up. My friend, Steph sent me this recipe and I just had to give it a try. Check out the ingredients I used:

Ingredients

I started by adding all the canned ingredients (jalapeno peppers, garbanzo beans and the whole tomatoes) to the crockpot. Then, I added the garlic, cumin, salt, oregano and chili pepper.

Canned Good and Spices

Next, I set to work chopping up the red pepper.

Red Pepper

Once the red pepper was chopped and added to the crockpot I added the thinly sliced zucchini.

Add the Zucchini

The last item to go in was the chopped onion.

Onions In

I cooked the chili on low for 7 hours, and then topped with cheese before serving.

Ready to Serve

This was delicious, and despite the fact that I was concerned that it wouldn’t be spicy enough since there was no hot sauce in the recipe. This was an amazing treat! I was really glad to have changed up my traditional chili recipe. This was a definite…

Bon Appetit!

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Cowboy Stew

In Comfort Food, Entrees, Leftovers on January 23, 2011 at 7:07 pm

There is only one word to describe today’s cooking experience…FIASCO! I should preface that with the fact that the food turned out AMAZINGLY, but the process of getting it moving was a FIASCO! Today was a very cold winter day in Beantown. Naturally my first thought was…comfort food. Originally I thought the way to go was  vegetarian chili, then I checked me email, and found a bunch of slow cooker recipes that my friend Steph had sent me. I saw this recipe, and I had to run to the store and pick up a few items :-). After I got back from the store I started getting everything together and when I tried to get the slow cooker down from a top shelf in my kitchen (you should probably know that I’m 5’2″ on a good day, it helps with the mental picture) it slipped and came crashing down on my head. Then it hit the floor, HARD, and the ceramic  part of it smashed into a lot of pieces all over my kitchen floor. My head is fine, though I do have a nice egg on it, and I had to borrow a slow cooker from a neighbor who came over to investigate the crash. Apparently it was that loud a crash.  But let’s get back to the recipe, which I am happy to report will last me the better part of a week in leftovers. Let’s take a look at what I picked up at the grocery store:

Ingredients

I started by browning the ground beef on the stove. While the beef browned I poured all the canned goods into the slow cooker (the one I borrowed, this is all after mine broke everywhere).

Canned Goods in The Slow Cooker

Once the beef had browned I drained the excess fat and added it to the slow cooker. Once everything else was combined I added a cup of water and the garlic cloves that I had minced.

Add the Beef

The stew then cooked on low for 9 hours. The recipe calls for 8-10 on low, and if you are in a hurry it can be 4-5 on high. My friend did note that the stew tastes better the longer it cooks, and since it was a cold, snowy day, I had the time to cook it for 9 hours. The result was FANTASTIC!

FANTASTIC! Cowboy Stew!

I will be more than happy to try this recipe again, though there are, as always, a few things I want to tweak about it.  I would love to try this with turkey instead of beef. I’d also like to turn up the heat, and add some diced jalapenos. I like my food spicy. I will also slice the potatoes at least in half next time, they were a little too big, and I think they would be better bite size.  Overall, it was FANTASTIC! A definite must for a cold day, especially when with a busy week ahead is set to follow. Stay tuned for more winter recipes, and probably a few good desserts too.  In the meantime…

Bon Appetit!

Slow Cooker American Chop Suey

In Comfort Food, Entrees, Leftovers on January 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

I stumbled upon this recipe for Slow Cooker American Chop Suey, while browsing the web for something to make in my slow cooker on a snowy, winter day.  Chili is always a GREAT go to, but I wanted something a little different. I also wanted to use ground turkey instead of ground beef, as a way to keep with my healthier eating resolution. So here are the ingredients I used:

I started by dicing the green pepper and onion into small pieces. I then cooked the ground turkey with the diced onion and diced green pepper in a large skillet.

Turkey, Green Pepper, and Onion in the Skillet

Once the meat was thoroughly cooked, I transferred the mixture into my slow cooker, and added the garlic powder, paprika, cheese, tomato paste, and diced tomatoes. Then it was cover and cook on low heat for 6 hours.

American Chop Suey

About 10 minutes before I was done cooking I added the cooked macaroni. This made a delicious and easy meal that will keep me very happily eating leftovers for a few days. You all know how much I love meals that leave me with leftovers. This will certainly be a wonderful slow cooker treat to try again, possibly with more spices to turn up the heat!

What do you like to make in your slow cooker? Any tips or recipes I should try?

See you all next time and in the meantime…

Bon Appetit!

Turkey Chili

In Comfort Food, Entrees, Leftovers on November 28, 2010 at 6:04 pm

I don’t know about all of you, but I have more than a little turkey still leftover. So I figured I would make one of my favorite meals that will last all week, with all the leftover turkey. Turkey Chili! I based my recipe on The Food Network‘s Ryder’s Turkey Chili, but of course I made more than a few changes. Here’s that I used:

I started by pouring the cans of pinto beans, kidney beans, and black beans into the slow cooker.

Beans

I then added the spices, onion powder, garlic salt, chili powder, paprika, and ground cumin to the slow cooker.

Beans and Spices

Next into the slow cooker were the chicken broth and tomato sauce.

Beans, Spices, Broth, and Tomato Sauce

It was then time to get to the business of dicing. First, I diced the onions and added them.

Onions

Second, I diced the green peppers and added them.

Green Peppers

Third, into the slow cooker were the diced red peppers.

Red Peppers

Finally, in went the diced jalapenos.

Jalapenos

I set to work on the leftover turkey next. I cut the meat into bit size pieces and added them to the slow cooker.

Turkey

Last into the slow cooker was the minced garlic.

Minced Garlic

Once that was added I thoroughly stirred the contents of the slow cooker, set the slow cooker on low, and let it cook for 6 hours before serving. I checked it every 1-2 hours and stirred the chili.

Ready to Serve

This was absolutely delicious, especially when served with a little cheddar cheese on top.

So Good!!

I may also top with a little sour cream next time. As I mentioned before I also absolutely LOVE that this meal will more than likely last me all week, and since we are rapidly approaching finals, I consider this a MAJOR WIN! I also like that this is a different take/twist on one of my favorite meals, traditional chili. I’m just not sure I would serve this chili with some corn bread; I’ll have to think on that one. Another plus, which is ALWAYS a plus with meals that are cooked in the slow cooker, my apartment smelled AMAZING! I highly recommend this meal as a way to serve up your leftover turkey, or as a delicious winter comfort food.

Hope everyone is enjoying their leftovers as much as I am!

Bon Appétit!

Turkey Pizza

In Comfort Food, Entrees, Leftovers on November 26, 2010 at 8:20 pm

There is maybe one thing better than Thanksgiving dinner…Thanksgiving leftovers! Turkey Pizza is a favorite in my house, and for this I couldn’t think of a better recipe to follow than my mom’s. Here are the ingredients:

Ingredients

  • Stove Top Stuffing Mix for Turkey (net wt. 6 oz)
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup (11 oz.)
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Leftover Turkey

My next step was to make the stuffing. I followed the directions on the box, and boiled 1-1/2 cups of water, but only used a tablespoon of butter, in a medium sauce pan. Once the contents of the pan had boiled I removed it from the heat and stirred in the stuffing mix. I then let it sit for about 5 minutes, before fluffing it with a fork. It was them into the pie pan for the stuffing, since it was the first layer of the pie.

Layer 1-Stuffing

My next task was to cut up the leftover turkey for the next later of the pie.

Turkey

The turkey slices were then layered on top of the stuffing in the pie pan.

Layer 2-Turkey

Next, I poured the tomato soup over the turkey, though this time I had to use old fashioned tomato rice, since my parents didn’t have any classic tomato in the house. It was a good improvisation though.

Layer 3-Tomato Soup

Next, and possibly my favorite part, sprinkle cheese over the top of the pie. Add as much as you like, though watch the edges, you don’t want it to burn in the oven.

Layer 4-Cheese

The pie then gets baked at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and the turkey is HOT!

Ready to Serve

This is a delicious way to serve leftover turkey, though I don’t recommend serving the leftover cranberry sauce with it. Cranberry sauce and tomato, I don’t think so! But it does have some delicious looking layers all the same.

Look at those Layers

This is a delicious, quick and easy dish, that is perfect when you come home late from some successful Black Friday shopping. Hope everyone had a successful shopping excursion, and a tasty Thanksgiving. What were some of your favorite parts? Any favorite ways to serve leftovers?

Let me know! I’m ALWAYS hungry for a new idea!

Bon Appetit!

Slow Cooker Chili

In Comfort Food, Entrees on October 25, 2010 at 6:00 am

There’s nothing better on a cold, rainy, fall day than to have chili cooking all day. I’m officially in love with the slow cooker my mom bought me over the summer. It’s a good size one, 5 quarts, and it made a TON of chili, that will more than likely be my dinner all week. Who doesn’t love to cook once and not have to think about it the rest of the week? ME!!

I based the recipe off of one I found on allrecipes.com, a recipe site that my friend Steph introduced me to. The recipe that I based my chili on is officially called Slow Cooker Chili II. I of course made a few tweaks and have a few more for next time too. For the most part I followed the recipe as listed on the site, but I changed the quantities of some of the ingredients.

To begin with I used closer to 1 and a half pounds of ground beef, instead of the recommended 1 pound.

Meat Browning

Once it was done I added it and all the ingredients the recipe called for into the slow cooker. The changes I made were using an entire medium green pepper instead of only 3/4ths of a cup of one. I also used 3 cloves of minced garlic instead of just 2. I also used 1/2 a teaspoon instead of an 1/8th of a teaspoon of hot pepper sauce.

Cookin' in the Slow Cooker

I cooked the chili for 7 hours on low heat, and then I removed the lid for the last hour in order to let some of the liquid evaporate. I like my chili thicker, so that’s why I did this, otherwise I would have just let it cook covered for the entire 8 hours. I topped it with some shredded cheddar cheese, and….

Ready to Serve

the result was as yummy as it was good looking! I also had some of the Honey Cornbread Muffins I made the day before with it. SUPER YUMMY!!

There are some changes I will be making next time though.

  1. I cut the onion and peppers very small, next time I want more of them, such as an entire onion, and 2 green pepper, and I will cut them in larger chunks.
  2. I may also add a red pepper or 2.
  3. I will also be using more hot pepper sauce.

If you haven’t already noticed I like my chili spicy and this was a good start, but next time I want to take the temperature up a bit!

Next up a seasonal dessert!

In the meantime….

Bon Appetit!

Honey Cornbread Muffins

In Comfort Food on October 24, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Nothing like some comfort food on a cold, rainy, fall evening! These Honey Cornbread Muffins are the perfect accent to the chili that has been cooking in my slow cooker all day today (expect a post on that tomorrow). These we super easy and super quick to make. The only change I made to the recipe was to use fat-free milk instead of while milk. That’s what I had in my apartment, so that’s what I used.

I started by preheating the oven to 400° F. Then I combined all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Dry Ingredients

The recipe then told the baker to combine the milk, eggs, butter, and honey in a separate bowl. I didn’t, since I didn’t have any other clean mixing bowls and was currently out of dish soap. Fear not! I have since made it to the grocery store and have dish soap and clean dishes again! So instead of mixing those ingredients in a separate bowl, I added them one by one to the dry ingredients, using a hand mixer to blend them as I went along.

All the Ingredients

This worked very well for me, and the end result was yummy, so I don’t have any complaints about this shortcut inspired by dirty dishes. I then evenly distributed the mix into 12 muffin paper liners. They were a little over 3/4ths of the way full, but that made for some large, light, fluffy muffins!

Ready for the Oven

This was a truly delicious, truly quick and easy recipe! It also compliments my chili so well! The end result even looked delicious!

Still Warm, Just Out of the Oven!

Stay tuned for the AMAZING chili to enjoy with this! In the meantime…

Bon Appetit!

Cheddar Biscuits

In Comfort Food on October 16, 2010 at 11:59 pm

 

All Ready to be Served!

 

Well, you were promised, the good, bad, and ugly, these we, well not so good. They were also not as easy and low maintenance as I thought they would be. The recipe I followed was from the Food Network, because let’s be honest I LOVE the Food Network! I found the recipe for these, Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits while I was looking through their comfort food recipes. I was super excited about what I thought was going to be a yummy fall afternoon treat.

I ran into a few issues with these, the first being, I don’t have a food processor. I tried executing this recipe using a normal mixing bowl and a hand mixer, and made a super floury mess in my kitchen.

 

Dry Ingredients Before Shortening and Butter were added

 

Also, since the butter was supposed to be added while still cold, it was a challenge blending it with the shortening and other dry ingredients. Once, the shortening and butter were blended, I added the milk, which limited the floury fallout. I was very happy with how the hand mixer was working on this, until I went to knead the dough. It was much stickier than I had originally anticipated, and I ended up with a lot of it on my hands that was not easy to get off. I normally would have added some flour to this, but the recipe advised against this. In the end, I ended up with 12 biscuits ready to go into the oven.

 

Ready for the Oven

 

The recipe suggest baking for 15-20 minutes, my biscuits were more than a little brown and burned on the bottom after 13 minutes, so I recommend checking them sooner rather than later. Once they were in the oven, I moved on to the making the garlic butter mixture. This was super easy, and since I love garlic I added an extra clove. I once again experienced some technical difficulties here however. I wasn’t able to smash the garlic as well as I would have liked, owing to the fact that I don’t have a pestle and mortar. I definitely intend on acquiring a pestle and mortar soon, and certainly before I get a food processor. All in all it wasn’t a total loss, as the biscuits were fairly tasty, but next time there are several other things I would try, in addition to the notes above, I would add more cheddar cheese. I love cheese!

 

Garlic Butter

 

Let me know what you think. Changes? Anyone know a good way to crush garlic cloves?

In the meantime…bon appetit!

A Little Comfort Food on a Cool Fall Evening

In Comfort Food on October 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm

There’s nothing like comfort food on a cool, crisp, fall day!

And that is exactly what my friends and I made this evening. Mom’s Meatloaf and mashed sweet potatoes. AMAZING! Let’s start with the recipe:

Mom’s Meatloaf
1 lb. of cropped meat
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 large egg
1/3 cup of finely diced onion (I prefer red onion)
2 packets of ranch dip mix
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp barbecue sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. Combine egg, cropped meat, and 2 packets of ranch dip mix, in a large bowl
  3. Add breadcrumbs, cheese, onion, mustard and barbeque sauce
  4. Shape into an oval/ball, and place in baking pan
  5. Cover with barbeque sauce
  6. Add water to coat the bottom of the pan
  7. Bake for 40 minutes
  8. Check the middle to make sure it is cooked all the way through, if it is no longer pink…SERVE

Mashed Sweet Potatoes
3 large sweet potatoes
Half stick of butter
A little milk

  1. Peel sweet potatoes
  2. Cut into 1 inch wide pieces
  3. Boil water in a large pot
  4. Once water has come to a boil, add sweet potatoes
  5. Boil potatoes until they are soft
  6. Drain water
  7. Add butter and a little milk to sweet potatoes
  8. Mash…..SERVE!

Overall it was a GREAT meal that took about an hour start to finish to prepare. Next time I plan to add more breadcrumbs, since the meatloaf crumbled very easily. We’ll see what the next round brings. The meatloaf had a lot of flavor, but I may try adding a bit of garlic next time. There are a lot of ways to make a meatloaf, you can always take my Dad’s approach and add everything except the kitchen sink. He likes to use a packet of French onion dip mix instead of the ranch, and adds French’s French fried onions. It has a lot of flavor! I highly recommend Dad’s meatloaf too!

I loved the smell of all the food cooking in my apartment, and how much it warmed it up on this cool Sunday evening. I love comfort food in the fall, any ideas for next week?

I definitely think a baking adventure is in order sooner rather than later! Stay tuned!