Slight chance of rain!

3 meat Chili!

2 small cans of beans of your choice (I used red kidney beans) or 1 big can
6 slices bacon
3 sausages, I use mild Italian kind
1.5 pounds ground beef
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes, 28 ounces total
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbs cumin
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs paprika (I used the smoked kind)
1 small can of tomato paste
Optional: 1 small can of spicy Mexican tomato sauce, I used El Pato

I use a Dutch oven.

Brown bacon and set aside
Brown sausage and beef in the bacon grease, drain and set aside
Add tomatoes and let simmer, add tomato paste and let the sauce come to a boil.
Add beef/sausage and bacon
Add half of the seasonings to the mixture, add the beans
Let simmer for around 20 minutes and taste! before adding more spices.
Finish off uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes.

I found Chiplote powder and it gave it a really nice kick without making it too spicy.

Aye Spicy!

Last week my friend Kev. posted a picture of Jalapeno Poppers he brought to a party and I was slightly jealous. I wanted some and he wasn’t sharing any.
Time to make my own then.

The recipe is decidedly simple as all out but it packs a nice punch of flavor.
Added bonus, I ended up with 8 medium poppers at a grand total of 240 calories.
Excellent little snack if you keep to eating only 2 or 3.


You will need for 2 servings:

4 jalapenos
4 tbs of cream cheese ( I used Boursin)
1 package of Prosciutto or 8 slices of thin bacon (ask the butcher to slice for you)

Cut jalapenos in half, scoop out seeds.
Fill evenly with cream cheese
Wrap with bacon and put on a cookie sheet.


Preheat oven to 300 degrees and allow poppers to cook a little for 10 minutes.
Set broiler on low and place poppers on the middle rack.
Broil for about 10 minutes making sure bacon doesn’t burn.
For an additional 3-5 minutes broil on high.
Let cool a little and enjoy!

You can easily double this recipe by doubling the ingredients.
I think you’ll want to because mine were gone as soon as TallOne found out I made them.

Chicken Waldorf Salad

When I was in Culinary school I learned how to make this salad.
I can’t believe it took until today to make it again.
It has the sweetness of the grapes and the crunchiness of the apple making this a nice fresh salad for lunch.
I added chicken and swapped out one tbs of mayo for a tbs of yogurt.
(and until I find out what caused my allergy reaction there are no walnuts)

4-8 ounces of chopped cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced
1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise and the lemon juice.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt,
1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.
Mix in the chicken, apple, celery, grapes, and walnuts.


Greek Salad, for a hot day.

This salad is fresh and easy to make on short notice and requires no cooking.
It goes well with anything from the grill.

Cucumber tomato salad.

1 container cherry tomatoes or
2-3 vine ripened tomatoes
1 cucumber
3 ounces of feta cheese
16-20 Kalamata olives
2 table spoons olive oil
1/2 to 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
If you are using regular tomatoes cut them in 8 parts (quarters?)
Peel and cut cucumber in 1-2 inch cubes
Combine olive oil and vinegar with salt and pepper and set aside.

Toss all ingredients together.

I don’t like to make this too much ahead as the tomatoes get mushy and the cheese tends to take on too much of the dressing.


I serve ours a bit “deconstructed” because tomatoes give me heartburn, CollegeGirl doesn’t like Feta and BubbleWrapBoy doesn’t care for Kalamata olives.
So everyone is free to make their own on their plate.


Smokey, with a kick.

I have to admit, I love spicy food.
The Boy and Himself don’t always agree with me.

Since finding smoked Paprika and Chiplote powder a whole new spin on spicy has become available.
The sweet of the Paprika coupled with the kick of Chiplote powder is a good compliment to “denser” meat such as pork tenderloin or a good sized chicken breast.
Marinating for longer than an hour will intensify this, so be careful.

I found the meat took on the spices real well, resulting in a slight red/pink crust.
I paired it with a bit of Chiplote mayo and am loving it.


Reddened Pork Tenderloin.

1 pork tenderloin
1-2 tbs smoked paprika
1 tsp chiplote powder
(if you do not have chiplote readily available use 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
salt to season
Mix all spices together and cover tenderloin with them by rubbing mixture into meat.
Allow mixture to marinate for 30-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325
In a sauté pan brown pork tenderloin on both sides for about 5 minutes on each side.
Transfer to ovenproof dish and bake tenderloin in oven for 40 minutes.

Pork might be pink, best way to test is by pushing on it with a finger. If it is too “bouncy” it’s still pink, if you push down and it’s somewhat firm you have a cooked tenderloin.

Let rest for 5 minutes and cut into slices. I like to cut mine a bit above thin.

For the Chiplote Mayo
3 tbs Mayonaise
1 tbs yogurt
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of chiplote powder or cayenne

Mix well, taste and add another pinch of Chiplote or Cayenne.
If you taste a piece of your tenderloin together with the sauce you’ll know when to stop making it spicier.


A brand new recipe for Salmon.

I bought basil leaves last week and they actually thrived but need to be used soon.

It’s Friday, I’m channeling my Catholic mother, it’s fish.

Basil cream Salmon

1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbs basil
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces of salmon per person
1 tbs lemon juice

put first 3 ingredients in saucepan, bring to a boil and turn down heat
Salt and pepper the fish
Cook fish in 2 tbs of olive oil until done
pour sauce over fish
add lemon juice.


An Easy Dutch fish dish for Friday

I remember my mom making this and it is the easiest, fastest dish you can make.
You can increase the amount of curry by a tsp, it gives it just that kick.
Cod is a great fish because it keeps it’s shape during cooking.

1 cauliflower, cut in smaller pieces
2 tbs olive oil
2 onions
1 lb cod (for 4 people)
2 tsp curry powder
7 ounces of Creme Fraiche (a little under a cup)
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375
Grease an ovenproof dish with butter
Cook Cauliflower in water with a little bit of salt for about 8 minutes
Heat the olive oil cook the onions until shiny, do not burn them!
Cut fish in chunks and sprinkle with curry, salt and pepper
Spread the cauliflower over the bottom of the dish
cover with fish and onions
(optional) cover the fish with mashed potatoes
Mix creme Fraiche with cheese and cover top of layers
Bake in oven for 25 minutes to done and golden brown.


More Dutch Oven love.

I subscribe to the Food Network magazine since January and a chili recipe caught my eye.
It had bacon, it had cocoa powder!

It did have some ingredients we don’t care for much simmered, namely bell pepper but overall it looked like a win.

The Boy requested it for dinner.
I swapped out a few ingredients and I think it was a success and most definitely will be made again soon.

Chili con Carne with sausage.


2 small cans of beans of your choice (I used red kidney beans) or 1 big can
6 slices bacon
4-6 ounces of sausage
5 ounces of ground beef
1 red onion
2 tomatoes, cut in chunks
1 tbs cumin
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa
1 tbs chili powder
1 tbs paprika (I used the smoked kind)
1 small can of tomato paste
cup of beef or chicken broth

(You can use a Dutch oven, or a regular frying pan with a lid)
Brown bacon and set aside
Brown sausage and beef in the bacon grease, drain and set aside
Sautee the cut up onion in 1 tbs butter until glazed
Add tomatoes and let simmer, add tomato paste and half of beef broth and let the sauce come to a boil
Add beef/sausage, remainder of broth and cut-up bacon
Add half of the seasonings to the mixture, add the beans
Let simmer for around 20 minutes and taste! before adding more spices.
If needed add extra beef broth but your chili should be able to hold a spoon upright in it!

I found Chiplote powder and it gave it a really nice kick with out making it too spicy.


Now for something elegant.

Sole is a very dainty fish in my mind.

It cooks fast and it tastes delicious. When you buy the fish get uniform pieces that are not too small or large, this will ensure even cooking.

Sole a la Meuniere (Sole in butter sauce)

2-3 pieces of Sole per person
(if your fish place sells bigger filets use on per person)
2-3 tbs butter
Salt and pepper (to season flour)

For the sauce:
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup white wine
1tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper
1 table spoon capers (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly dredge Dover sole in seasoned flour.
Heat butter in a medium pan until it begins to smoke.
Saute sole until golden brown on each side (about 1 to 2 minutes per side).

Be careful to not turn the fish for more than one time, it will fall apart easily if you do that.
Not pretty.

In a separate pan melt 2 tbs of butter, add wine, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add the capers last and pour over sole.


Everything is better with bacon

A few food items are always in my fridge, cheese, eggs and bacon.

A friend posted a recipe she tried last week on Facebook and I tinkered with it a little and came up with this new recipe.
I made it for The Boy and Himself and they deemed it good for a repeat.
If you can’t find the cheese I used you can substitute with cream cheese, garlic and parsley.

ETA: rinsing the pasta under cold water will stop the cooking process and also avoid melting the cheese too soon.
Also letting the meat cool off a little helps in this process.

Creamy, bacon bake.

1 box pasta (elbows, bow-ties or rotini)
Boursin cheese cheese
1 cup grated cheese, I use half parmesan and mozzerella
4 slices of bacon
8 ounces of chicken
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook pasta to almost fully cooked, drain and set aside
Cook bacon until crisp, crumble and set aside
Sautee cut up chicken in bacon grease (or in 1 tbs butter, but trust me cooking it in the bacon fat enhances the flavor)
Drain fat from chicken and mix macaroni with bacon, chicken, cream and the cheeses.
Preheat the oven at 350
Coat an ovenproof dish with butter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until all the cheese is melted.
Halfway stir the pasta so that the cheese coats all over (it stays creamier that way)
If you have a broiler give the dish a quick broil to get a crunchy crust.



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