Archive for ◊ November, 2010 ◊

30 Nov 2010 Gringo Grandma’s Chili

Gingo Grandma’s chili!  That’s me!  This is my chili!  You’ve probably guessed that this is NOT serious cook-off chili.  This is big pot, throw-it-all-together, family friendly, low-budget chili. Chili that everyone likes.  Chili with ground meat =:0 and beans =:0. A recipe that makes enough for a crowd or for three days of leftovers. A chili that reheats and freezes well. Rainy-day comfort food.  Game Day staple food. Chili Dog party food.  Must have camping food.

This is an easy recipe to remember, too.  Think threes!  Three cans of pinto beans, three cans of diced tomatoes, 3 lbs of meat, three onions.  I found the original recipe in The San Jose Mercury News food section years and years and years ago.  I’ve adjusted the quantities of ingredients a bit and changed the name to fit the dish…and made it mine.  I hope you make it yours. too.

Gringo Grandma’s Chili

3 16 oz. cans pinto beans

3 16 oz. cans diced tomatoes

3 onions, chopped

1 -2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3 lbs ground meat (2 lbs. ground beef, 1 lb. ground sausage)

1/4 cups chili powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper

1 – 3 cups chicken broth (or water)

Pour canned pinto beans (with liquid) and chopped tomatoes into a large soup pot over a medium high heat. Bring to a light simmer.  Meanwhile, in another pan, saute chopped onion in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.  Add onions and garlic to bean and  tomato mixture.  To the same pan, now emptied of onion, brown ground beef and sausage, about 15 minutes.  Drain fat from meat. Stir drained meat into the bean-tomato-onion mixture.  add  in chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. If desired, stir in one to three cups of chicken broth or water until the chili meets your desired preference (some people like it thicker or soupier than others).  Simmer chili for 1 1/2  hours, covered.  Uncover and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.

Serve hot in deep bowls, in front of the TV, on a cold day…  I like to serve with grated cheddar cheese and corn muffins, but sliced green onions and sour cream would also be good toppings.  I think this chili is best the second day, and leftovers (or even the whole batch) freeze very, very well.

Makes approx. 16 cups, that’s one gallon of family friendly, easy to eat, chili.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today.  Now remind me to post the recipe for corn muffins, they’re stellar!

26 Nov 2010 Baked Spinach Artichoke Dip

Remember the first time you went to Costco?  Did you come home with the gallon of mustard for $3.75?  A year later you were irritated by that l-a-r-g-e jar of mustard  taking up valuable space in your refrigerator, right? AND you were tired of the mini tizzy fits you kept having because you kept having to move that dang-blasted jar of mustard around to make room for other stuff, right?  AND, and you were laying awake at night wondering how in the world you were going to use up that much mustard before the expiration date, right?  A rookie Costco mistake; and one I made, yet again, last year. I bought a 65 oz. jar of Marinated Artichoke hearts.  I don’t even especially like Marinated Artichoke Hearts.  Fortunately the expiration date was not until December 2012, BUT, I’d had enough of storing it, moving it around, and wondering what to do with it.  The jar HAD TO GO.

Thank goodness for a Dining For Women dinner, a Thanksgiving food fest and a Christmas Party, all of which required an appetizer! I decided to hit the net and look for appetizers using marinated artichoke hearts. I remembered my friend Candace had swooned over a Warm Spinach and Artichoke dip she had ordered at Applebee’s recently and I stumbled upon a recipe that I thought might be similar, and it was on one of my favorite recipe websites, Brown Eyed Baker! BINGO!

I made and baked one-half batch for the Dining For Women dinner. I made and refrigerated another half-batch for three days and then baked for it for Thanksgiving appetizers. So there is no problem making this up and refrigerating a few days before baking.  I made another batch and froze it to defrost and then bake for the Christmas party.  One effort, three parties covered with about 15 minutes of prep time and about the same in clean up time.  I love the efficiency of batch cooking. Unfortunately, I only used half a jar of the Marinated Artichoke Hearts and the jar has moved from my cupboard to the refrigerator, not entirely solving my Large-Jar-of-Marinated-Artichoke-Hearts problem.  I’ll just have to get myself invited to more parties and offer to bring a hot appetizer!

I just wish I had a picture that turned out as well as the dip did 🙂

Artichoke Spinach Dip

from the Brown Eyed Baker

14 ounces artichoke hearts, drained and finely chopped
1 10 ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (s-q-u-e-e-e-z-e the liquid from the spinach)
1½ cups (6 ounces) finely shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Paprika, to taste (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2.  S-q-u-e-e-e-z-e the liquid from the spinach.  Combine chopped artichokes, dry spinach, all but 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, all but ¼ cup of Monterey Jack cheese, room temperature cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and garlic in a bowl and mix well.

3. Spoon the artichoke mixture into a 1½-quart baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved  Parmesan and Monterey Jack cheeses on top, and then sprinkle with paprika.

4. Bake in preheated 350º oven for 30 minutes. Edges should be brown. Dip should be cooked through.

5. Serve warm with desired dippers.  I served with a sliced sourdough baguette, but tortilla or pita chips, crackers or vegetables would all work.  Make it yours!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!  If you have any more dynamite recipes using Marinated Artichoke hearts, PLEASE let me know!  Now I have an open jar in the refrigerator, and I am going to have to use them up pretty quickly. They won’t last until December 2012 now. OR…, you could just invited me to your next party!  Have dip will travel!!!

24 Nov 2010 Pumpkin Roll

One of my friends has been making this for years.  I was intrigued by her pictures posted on Facebook of roll, after roll, after roll lined up along her kitchen counter, and then the comments from a number of people begging her to stop by and drop off a roll.  It took a few years, but finally she shared the “closely guarded secret family recipe” (with a wink and a smile).

I made my first pumpkin roll from Kim’s recipe last year, and my mother fell instantly head-over-heels in love.  She ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus had another slice for her 10 o’clock and then again for her 3 o’clock.  My mother eats like a sumo wrestler, and weighs 100 lbs dripping wet. I on the other hand look like a sumo wrestler and weighed 100 lbs in third grade.  Life is just not fair…

Ok, back on subject. Here, on my blog,  is Kim’s “closely guarded secret family recipe”.  There are a few changes, but it looks a lot like the recipe on the can of the Libby’s Pumpkin.  REALLY!!!  Have you ever read the recipe for Pumpkin Roll on the can?  Me neither, and I have been looking at it for 40 years!  It’s a good recipe.  The Pumpkin Roll is good.  Just ask my Mom.

I like Kim’s recipe.  It has more spice, and the filling is lower fat than the actual recipe on the Libby’s can.  Disclaimer: I did NOT say “low fat”, I said, “lower fat”. Got it?! The Pumpkin Roll recipe, according to Libby, can be successfully doubled, but not tripled. I made a double batch last night, and since my mom will not be here tomorrow, we’ll probably have enough!

Pumpkin Roll

3 eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
¾ c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
¼ cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375º.

Beat eggs on high for 5 min.

Gradually add sugar to eggs. Then stir in pumpkin and lemon juice.

In another bowl, sift dry ingredients then fold into pumpkin mixture.

Spread batter evenly in a greased and floured (I use Pam for Baking) edged cookie sheet, 15x10x1. (Kim and I use a regular edged cookie sheet as opposed to the jelly roll pan specified on the Libby’s can. The jelly roll pan is smaller and cake doesn’t roll up as well when it’s that thick.)

If desired, top the batter with chopped walnuts.  Bake cake at 375º for 13-15 minutes.

Spread a cloth kitchen dish towel onto the counter.  Spread 1/3 cup powdered sugar evenly over the dish towel. DON’T use a fuzzy dish towel!  Use something like a flour sack dish towel!

Remove cake from oven. Immediately, turn out cake onto the  dish towel sprinkled with powdered sugar.  While cake is  still hot, starting at narrow end, roll towel and cake together and set aside to cool.

Cream Cheese Filling

1 c. powdered sugar
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons butter, softened
½ tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth.

Unroll cake and spread filling over cake.

Roll up again (without the towel!) and refrigerate overnight (if at all possible).

Cut roll into slices to serve  (Discard the ugly end slices).

Makes 10 – 12 servings.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Sorry I am so late with this recipe, I should have posted it the week before Halloween…!

23 Nov 2010 Cranberry-Blueberry Pie

Looking for a last minute new pie for Thanksgiving?  Here it is, Cranberry-Blueberry Pie. I served it to my Dining For Women group last night–with a scoop of Cinnamon Ice Cream.   There were some Mmmms, some moans and some requests for the recipe.  I’d say that the Cranberry-Blueberry Pie passed the taste test with flying colors!

This recipe is based on one from Epicurious.com.  I read all the comments posted about the recipe and realized I was going to have to change their recipe a bit.  In my recipe the blueberries are cooked only once, not twice.  I also added two chopped Golden Delicious apples to the filling so it had less of a jam consistency/taste and more of a really yummy fruit pie consistency and taste. There’s more spice, more sugar, some freshly squeezed orange juice and grated orange peel in my recipe, too.  I think my version would win the  pie throw down!!

Cranberry Blueberry Pie

  • 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries (if frozen, no need to thaw)
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • finely grated peel of 1 orange
  • 2 medium Golden Delicious apples, peeled and chopped
  • 16 ounces frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
  • double recipe of pie pastry (or two Pillsbury pie crusts…)
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Combine cranberries, sugar, spices, salt and orange juice in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium heat until cranberries pop and then thicken, about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Boil 2 more minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove mixture from heat. Stir in orange peel, chopped apple, and blueberries.  Set mixture aside to cool.  (Can be made up to 3 days ahead.  Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to use.)

Preheat oven to 400º.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with pastry.  Spoon filling into lined pie pan.  Cover filling with another pie crust. Trim and decorate.  Brush crust with about 1 tablespoon whipping cream and sprinkle with about a teaspoon of sugar.

Bake in preheated 400º oven for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool pie on rack.  Let pie stand at room temperature until ready to serve.

Have a great Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by my kitchen today!

23 Nov 2010 Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Apples

My daughter Hannah has started a new Thanksgiving tradition for our family, and I rather like it.  She invites our neighbors and friends over for Pumpkin Pancakes on Thanksgiving morning.  She suggests they come in their jammies.  (I am not seen in my jammies!  Slippers, yes, jammies, nooooo.) The pancakes are hot by 9 AM, and she keeps making them until about 11.  Some people stay for ten minutes, some for forty, others  for a bit longer than that.  It’s very informal and relaxed.  The parade is on.  There’s a jigsaw puzzle set up.  We serve Pumpkin Pancakes with Maple Apples, Syrup, Sausages, Spicy Sweet Bacon, Pumpkin Roll, and coffee (with pumpkin creamer!).

I must have tried out eight pumpkin pancake recipes.  Some have one egg, others have four for each cup or cup and a half of flour.  Some have buttermilk, some have whole milk, one even had coconut milk.  There’s been every permutation of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and/or pumpkin pie spice.  Some use one-third a cup of pumpkin, some use three-fourths cup of pumpkin.  Some use baking powder, others baking soda, some use both. At the end of the day, I ended up liking our original recipe; the one we had been using before I started this testing nonsense.  My preferred recipe is the only one calling for whipping the egg whites separately from the rest of the batter, and then folding them in.  I think that’s the secret.  Pumpkin pancakes can be a bit stodgy, but folded egg whites keep them light. There has been a benefit to all this testing though, my grandson has a favorite food now, pumpkin pancakes!  He’s not too picky about them,  just so long as he can dip his pieces in real maple syrup.  He’s usually not a big eater, being only in the 17th percentile for weight, but he can eat his way through a man-portion of pumpkin pancakes.

Last week I found this recipe for Maple Apples.  Now I am in heaven.  Please put some warm maple apples on top of my pumpkin pancakes and top that with a bit of whipped cream. (I have a bit of a sweet tooth….)  If you are not into Maple Apples, you might enjoy adding 5 or 6 chocolate chips or blueberries to each pancake.  Add the chips or the blueberries before before flipping the pancake.  If you are into “healthy” pancakes, I have made these with King Arthur’s White Whole Wheat Flour and they have turned out very well.  When I feel up to experimenting again, I am going to play with replacing some of the flour with oatmeal.

Be careful cooking these pancakes, they can easily over brown.  Cook on low-ish heat, but be sure the pan is hot before adding the batter.

The recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes, as well as the recipe for Maple Apples, is from Epicurious.com.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
4 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vegetable oil
Maple syrup

Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend.Whisk milk, pumpkin, egg yolks, melted butter and vanilla in medium bowl to blend well. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick). Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into batter in 2 additions. Brush large nonstick skillet with oil; heat over medium heat. Working in batches, pour batter by 1/3 cupfuls into skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing skillet with oil between batches. Serve with syrup. Makes about 12

Maple Syrup Apples

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 large Golden Delicious apples (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and 1 tablespoon maple syrup; sauté until apples are tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup and cinnamon.

These would be good the day after Thanksgiving, too.  And for Halloween morning.  Or any time in the Fall. Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. It’s always fun to see you here!

21 Nov 2010 Cinnamon Ice Cream

I had heard about cinnamon ice cream a year or so ago and was instantly intrigued.  It sounded lovely.  Odd, but lovely, and I had a feeling–foodie intuition, if I may be so bold–that Cinnamon Ice Cream would be the perfect side kick for warm apple, peach and pear pies, crisps and cobblers. It took me awhile to find a recipe because I don’t like eggs in my ice cream.  I like Philadelphia style ice cream; ice cream made with milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings only.  No eggs.  Ever. I finally found this recipe.  It looks like it’s made its rounds!  No wonder it took awhile to get to me. I found it on Erin’s Food Files , who found it in Elizabeth Faulkner’s Demolition Desserts, who saw it on the Martha Stewart Show!

I don’t think this is the right ice cream for an ice cream cone or an ice cream sundae. It’s much too rich, and it’s cinnamon. There are no chocolate chips nor caramel swirls nor candied nuts in this ice cream, just cinnamon.  Who wants that on a cone? So why do I have this ice cream pictured in a sundae glass?  LOL.  Ooops.  Sometimes I really ought to think things through!  BTW,  Ben&Jerry’s does have a Cinnamon Bun ice cream out now, so some folk might think differently than I do.  Some folk might like Cinnamon ice cream plain, in a sundae glass or on a cone.  That being said, this ice cream is magic on warm fruit and nut based desserts.  Magic.

I am pretty sure someone will be shot if there is none of this left for our Thanksgiving pies.  I made a double batch, so that had better be.

Cinnamon Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Sugar-in-the-Raw (turbinado sugar)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (Grade B if you can find it, the taste is more assertive)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Directions:

Combine the milk, sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture just begins to bubble and sugar has dissolved, 6 to 8 minutes. Add cream, vanilla, and salt; stir to combine.  Pour into a bowl and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally. Cover and transfer to refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Stir mixture briefly; pour into an ice-cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store ice cream in a covered container in the freezer, at least 1 hour and up to 1 week.

Serve over warm fruit pie, crisp, or cobbler.

GREAT day to stop by my kitchen today!  I think this recipe is going to transform your “This is GREAT!” fall desserts into your “OHMYGOD this is INCREDIBLE!” fall desserts 🙂
Let me know the reactions from your guests!!!