Food, Fun & Fotography

No Frills Chili

I got this chili recipe originally from my Betty Crocker cookbook.  I have added things over the years to my liking.  It’s a pretty simple straightforward recipe.  Throw it in the crockpot in the morning and you are done!  I like beans and sometimes add an extra can.  If I do that, I just add more beef stock.  Today, I just did 3.

The Ingredients

1 Lb Hamburger Meat
1 Onion, chopped
1 Green Pepper, chopped
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
1 Can Diced tomatoes, chili flavor
1 Can Chili beans
2 Cans Red Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 Cup Beef Stock
1 Can Tomato Sauce
Chili Powder

Chop your pepper and onion using the handy dandy Pampered Chef chopper.  (Did I mention before I *heart* mine.  I also *heart* my cutting board with built-in measuring cup.  I *heart* Pampered Chef!  


Place you meat in a skillet.  Here, I use my Pampered Chef meat chopper thingy.  Yes, I believe that is the correct name.  Anyhow, its great at getting the meat nice and small.

Add your garlic.  I use a lot because I ike things all garlic-y.  Again, I used the refrigerated version.

Add the onions and peppers to meat and cook until the meat is not pink.

While meat is cooking, start putting your other ingredients in the crockpot. 


Chili Beans (don’t drain!)

Drain  and rinse the red kidney beans. Then add to crockpot.

Your meat should be done about now.  Add to crockpot.

I then add my tomato sauce and beef stock.  I put one bullion cube in 1 cup of water and cook in the microwave until its dissolved.  Then pour it in.

Now, just add as much chili powder as you like.  We like ours hot so I added a lot.  Just taste and decide.  I am sure I never add the same amount twice and I have never measured.  Today I added some jalapeno sauce for a little more kick.  Morgan doesn’t eat it (it’s one of her 3 free passes) and I figured I would make Brenna whatever I made Morgan, so I spiced it up!

So good!  Make with some cornbread and you are set.  We had leftover fresh bread from the bakery.  Yum!

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Sunday Pot Roast

First, let me say.  My kitchen in this base house has no light.  It’s always pretty dark so taking pictures without my flash is hard, even with the ISO set high and my aperture at 2.8.  I don’t like this because I hate flash and always try not to use it.  Soooooo, anyway, my food photography might not always be great.  But hey, you gotta work with what ya got!

Anyhow, back from Christmas vacation and I am trying to get back in the swing of things.  I had this roast in the freezer and all the other things on hand.

Here are the ingredients.

 I don’t really have a “recipe” for this.  I just pretty much throw it together.  I will list what I use.

3 Lb Bottom Round Roast
Olive Oil
2 cups Red Cooking Wine
2 Cups Beef Broth
1 Med Onion
1 Tbsp Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tsp Dried Thyme
1 Can Diced tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
1 Cup Carrots, cut up
3 Large potatoes, cut up

First, I trim most the fat off the roast.  I like using bottom round roast which always cooks up great in the crockpot.

Then I salt and pepper both sides.  Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and brown the roast on all 4 sides.  This helps sear in the flavor.

Meanwhile, in my crockpot I pour the 2 cups red wine.

Then I put 2 beef bullion in 2 cups of water and put in the microwave for about 3 minutes to dissolve them.

While that is cooking, I then take my onion and chopped it with my Pampered Chef Chopper (which I am in love with!!!) and add it to the crockpot.

Next add the garlic.  I used the refrigerated kind for this recipe.  About a Tablespoon.

Throw in the bay leaf.

Then the can of tomatoes.  Don’t drain them.  I used petite diced with olive oil and garlic.

Pour in the beef stock that you heated in the microwave.

Stir everything and then add the roast.  Sprinkle about a tsp of thyme over it.

 I put this in about 10:30 am.  I cooked it on high till about 1:00, then I turned it down to low.  About 4 o’clock I added the potatoes and carrots.

Let it all cook until about 6:00.  It is soupy when its done.  I used a slotted spoon to lift the veggies up and put on the plate.

There ya go!  Enjoy!


A No Where Near Lowfat Dish

I was mulling through my pantry yesterday looking for something to make.  I didn’t want to go to the store and I didn’t make any meals plans.  I had most of the ingredients for this on hand, and what I didn’t have I substituted.  I found this in a magazine, it was a knock off from a dish at Chilis.  **Warning**  I normally don’t cook this high in fat but well, sometimes its worth it.  Drew took a bite and muttered “wow!”.  ‘Nuff said.

Bayou Chicken Alfredo

12 oz Penne
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
1 Tbsp Flour
1 1/2 Cup Half & Half
1/2 Grated Parmesan
Salt & Pepper
1 Lb Boneless Chicken Breasts
2 Tomatoes Diced
1 1/2 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
2 Tsp. Vegetable Oil
1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

Cook your Penne according to box.  I use whole wheat.  Gotta get some healthy in there somehow.

Melt the butter over medium in saucepan.  Add flour and whisk for one minute.

Add half & half.  I didn’t have any of this but I had heavy whipping cream.  So I substituted using half milk and half heavy whipping cream which is pretty much the same thing.

Stir until thickened, about 6 minutes.  Remove it from heat and add the parmesan. 

Add salt and pepper to your liking and cover and set aside.

While your sauce is cooking, start on your chicken.  I used 2 chicken breast and it was plenty for the dish.  I placed them in a plastic bag and pounded with a rolling pin till they were about 1/2 inch thick.

I then took them out and rubbed the cajun spice all over them.  I was out of cayenne pepper but after trying it without, I prefer it.  It was good but not too spicy for the kids.  Heat up the oil in a sauce pan over med heat and cook the chicken about 8 minutes per side.

You can always grill the chicken to save on some fat. I did it this way for the first time and it was so much more nummy.

Drain your noodles and pour into a large bowl.  Then take your chicken and slice into thin strips.

Toss your sauce with the pasta and then top with the chicken.  You can also add the diced tomatoes to the top for some crunch and color.  I had tomatoes but by the time this was all done, so was I and I wanted to eat.  Lazy, I know.

Ta Da, the final project!

It was YUM-O.  And now I have leftovers for the girls and I for dinner tonight since Drew is gone. (his flight was canceled due to fog, so he is sitting in Santa Barbara Airport…how fun!)


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