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Archive for the ‘Seasonal’ Category

In Texas, we love to to coordinate. When the first day of Fall hits, we are all usually ready to put away the swimsuits and pull out our Autumn garb. It’s not like we’re pulling out mittens, sweaters, or exactly throwing out our flip-flops. It’s Texas, y’all. It’s still H-O-T. However, the first day of Fall, this year, turned out to be pretty wonderful. Low to mid 70s. SHUT UP!

I decided to run into my closet and pull out my 70s orange blouse and go all out!

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HOWDY, FALL!

Whenever the weather first gets that little crisp feeling, every single Texan has ONE thing on their mind. Chili! So, why go against the norm? Wait… why not go against the norm?

Time to do a new spin on chili, people! Get a little healthy…. add some bold flavors… get adventurous!

So, after going through my refrigerator, I decided to use up some kale, a poblano, zucchini, red onion, and some vibrant red bell peppers.

Roughly diced, charbroiled for a few minutes with a little garlic and EVOO…. YUMMY!

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Hello, semi-burned, roasty, sweet, yumminess!

I seriously could eat that tray all day, everyday. *Hint* This combo of veggies, minus the poblano, also go into my Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Herb Dressing… I haven’t shared that yet…and that is coming 🙂

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes! Let’s keep going with this chili. So, I go ahead and brown some lean ground beef with plenty of salt, pepper, a little garlic, and a little red pepper flake. I like to add a little splash of chicken stock to the pot in order to get those stuck little brown bits… those bits are sacred! FLAVOR!

Those charred veggies go into the pot and then I add my tomatoes (diced and tomato sauce), a pinch of sugar (cuts down acidity), chili seasoning (chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper) and my beans. I love black beans. So, here I added about three cups of prepared black beans.

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In the picture, see that cute little cup and saucer. I found a set of these at a cute antique store in Mobile. Sadly, I lost 6/8 of the plates during our move…. *sigh*. But I have two left and they are pretty! I do have all of the cups though. Perfect for healthy portions of this yummy chili!

You may start to wonder what’s in that measuring cup…. we’ll it’s time to tell you! I placed 2 cups of chicken broth into a blender and added a jalapeno and a whole bunch of cilantro. I blended that and it’s about to go into the pot to add a fresh pop of flavor. Makes a HUGE difference to this chili! Everyone always asks “What is that?!” and I get a huge sneaky smile on my face. Cilantro is a wonderful thing.

So, then I add the rest of my chicken stock and toss in a few handfuls of kale to the mix and allow that to simmer for hours until everything marries together.

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So, while that simmers… I made some yummy Texas cornbread to go with my chili. I was going to do some jalapeno cornbread, but decided to use up some green onions I had instead. Don’t want to kill people with spice…we love it, but I think the less-spicy version of the cornbread would be appreciated here. Not sharing that recipe…gotta keep some secrets. It is gluten-free though, by default. That’s all I will say there and I will post a picture….

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See what I did there? Literal Texas cornbread.

Grab a piece, throw into your chili bowl, ladle on that delicious chili, add about a pound of cheese, and you’re golden.

Charbroiled Chili with Kale

2 pounds of ground beef (I like to use venison too)
3 cups of black beans, prepared
16 oz of diced tomatoes
10 oz of tomato sauce
3 cups of chicken broth
2 cups of chicken stock
1 zucchini diced
1 red bell pepper diced
1 poblano pepper diced
1/2 red onion diced
EVOO
1 jalapeno
1 bunch cilantro
2 cups kale
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Pinch of red chili flake (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. On a baking sheet, arrange diced veggies, drizzle EVOO, and sprinkle a tsp of garlic powder and salt and pepper. Place under broiler until veggies char nicely, but do not burn.
2. In a pot, add ground beef and brown with a little salt and pepper. Add your minced garlic, veggies, and splash about 1/4 cup of your chicken stock to deglaze the pan.
3. Add the remainder of the seasoning (minus sugar), and add tomatoes. Now add the sugar.
4. In a blender, add 2 cups of chicken broth, cilantro, and jalapeno. Blend until smooth. Add to the pot.
5. Add beans, kale, and remaining liquid. Simmer until ready to serve.

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I’m so sorry that I have been MIA for a while. It’s been really busy around here lately with work and life in general. This week I’m featuring a cupcake that will pay homage to Easter (which just passed) and my Mom. She LOVES carrot cake! This recipe ensures that you will have a moist and absolutely delicious carrot cake cupcake. The frosting is to DIE for! It’s simple, elegant and it’s almost too tempting to just eat it out of the bowl! Enjoy!

Carrot Cake

  • 6 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Frosting:

  • 2 packages of softened cream cheese
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 stick of softened butter
  • 3 tbsp of vanilla
  • 1 tbsp all spice

1. Preheat your oven to 325°
2. In a bowl, combine the carrots, brown sugar and pineapple (let sit for about 15-30 mins)
3. In a mixing bowl (I use my Kitchenaid), combine all of the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients (including the carrot/sugar/pineapple mixture)
4. Mix until smooth
5. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, add the batter to 24 cupcake tins
6. Bake for 30 mins or until you can place a toothpick into the cake and it comes out clean
7. Cool
8. Clean your mixer or have another mixing bowl and combine all of the frosting ingredients and whip until smooth and creamy.
9. Once the cupcakes are cooled, ice the cupcakes.

Price:

Cake ingredients: $3.00
Frosting ingredients: $4.50
Total: $7.50/24 servings= $0.31 per serving

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