Saturday, December 29, 2012

Chicken Chili

As the year comes to a close, so does excessive eating!  That being said, there is nothing new under the sun, so of course someone has made this recipe before me.  That person knew what they were doing. Thank you Skinnytaste. Skinnytaste is an awesome site that lists Weight Watchers information for all their recipes.  They list points for the old system along with the Weight Watchers Points Plus System. Since I used the old system before, that is what I prefer.  I know that I can eat tostadas until I speak Spanish with the old system!
 
This chili is flavorful and a little on the sweet side from simmering with the corn.  Kid friendly for sure! You can easily spice it up by sticking with the original version which adds chili powder and cumin along with the taco seasoning packet.  Well folks...I was out of chili powder and I thought it was delicious despite the missing chili powder and cumin.  (Those ingredients are already found in the taco seasoning packet!)
 
 
Here is my interpretation of Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili:
 
CHICKEN CHILI
See original recipe here.
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 (16 oz. each) cans of black beans (drain 2 cans, leave juice in other two)
  • 2 (16 oz. each) cans red kidney beans with juice
  • 2 (14.5 oz. each) cans of tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (16 oz.) bag frozen corn
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (I used low sodium)
  • 24 ozs. (3 to 4) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Chop onion. Combine onion, black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn and taco seasoning in your crock pot.  Place chicken breasts on top.  Cook for 8 to 10 hours on low.  Before serving remove chicken and shred.  Stir chicken back into chili and serve.  Enjoy!
 
Note:  This was kind of soupy due to the juice from the beans.  The original recipe did not say whether or not to drain the beans and you can see above what I decided to do. 
 
Another note:  Bean juice?  Not really sure what you call the liquid in the can with the beans.
 
According to Skinnytaste this recipe is 3 points for 1-1/4 cup chili or 5 points for the Points Plus system.
 
 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sausage and Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Fall is almost here....at least in this part of the world.  Two more days of 80's and then the forecast is for 50's!  Cuddle up weather is just around the corner.  Cuddle up weather calls for rib stickin' type food.  The Sassy loves comfort food.  Perhaps she loves it too much.  In order to celebrate that it is almost cold I made the rib stickin' Sausage and Cheddar Drop Biscuits for breakfast.  Great served with scrambled eggs, fresh fruit or just a glass of juice.  The kids dig'em, grown-ups dig'em, even babies dig'em!


SAUSAGE AND CHEDDAR DROP BISCUITS
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. baking soda
  • 1/4 t. onion powder (or 1/2 an onion diced)
  • 1/3 c. cold butter
  • 1/2 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we like it cheesy!)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Cut butter into small chunks and then cut into small pebbles size pieces with a pastry cutter.  Toss cooked and drained sausage with flour, coating the sausage crumbles with flour so they don't stick together.  Stir in cheese. Stir in buttermilk.  Drop biscuits onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, until bottoms are golden.  Makes 12 good sized biscuits. 
 
A note about the onion:  You can omit this all together if you like.  I prefer the real onion, minced and tossed in with the rest of the ingredients.  Some chicks do not like this, but don't mind at all or even notice if I use onion powder. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Snicker Doodle Muffins

The kids love this muffin.  Probably one of their favorites.  One of my favorites too.  Yummilish!

 
The tops of these Snicker Doodle muffins are so lovely, the pan is not so lovely.

SNICKER DOODLE MUFFINS
Courtesy of Your Cup of Cake.

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • ½ cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
 
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla, blend well. Combine dry and wet ingredients, do not over mix. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins or muffin cups. Mix cinnamon and ½ cup sugar (I do not use the whole amount because it makes a big mess and just falls off.) and spoon over tops of muffins. Bake 10-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Goodbye Quaker Chewy granola bars. Hello homemade chewy granola bars.  Yes, they are actually soft!  I have tried many a granola bar recipe and I finally found a keeper.


Combine crispy rice, oats, wheat germ and coconut.


Combine honey, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stir until the mixture comes to a complete boil for 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.


Let cool for 5 minutes.


Add chocolate chips.


Pat into greased 13x9 inch pan and cool completely before cutting.


CHEWY PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA BARS
  • 2-1/2 c. crispy rice cereal
  • 1-3/4 c. rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. wheat germ
  • 1/2 c. flaked coconut
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2/3 c. peanut butter
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
Combine first 4 dry ingredients in a bowl. In a saucepan, mix the honey, brown sugar and salt. Over medium-low heat, stir until the mixture comes to a complete boil for 30-60 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before mixing in the chocolate chips. Press into a greased 9×13 pan and let cool before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

No Knead Bread means no need to do much work.

I have been cranking out two loaves a day of this stuff.  I have made no knead bread before but that recipe did require more time commitment, so I did not make it that often.  But this recipe is seriously over the top easy even if you have never made bread, never ever. 
 
 
Of course I found this latest and greatest version on Pinterest.  It is kinda like the new Google.  When I am looking for something I head straight to Pinterest. I give all the credit to Cooking Classy for this simpler version of No Knead Bread.  It is polite to give people props when they have posted something on their blog.

 
 
The night before you want to bake bread, or 12 to 18 hours before, combine 3 cups flour, 1-3/4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon yeast.  Stir to combine.  Add 1-1/2 cups warm water (don't kill that thar yeast with hot water!) and mix with a wooden spoon.  You will have a very sticky, wet dough.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a tea towel.  


When you drag your self out of bed, set oven at 450 degrees. Heavily flour a cutting board.  Wet hands (yes this sounds weird since the natural tendency is to flour them, but this works AMAZING...thanks Cooking Classy.)  Shape dough quickly into a ball and place on board. 


At this point I changed it up and sprinkled the top quite heavily with cornmeal. I am a rebel. Cover with plastic wrap. When oven is preheated place pan in oven to heat. Set timer for 30 minutes.


You will be surprised at how much the bread will rise in that 30 minutes of pan heating time.


Carefully remove BURNING HOT pan from oven.  Pick up a little flour/cornmeal off the board and rub it on your hands.  Grab the dough.  It will be very squishy soft, but with practice you will get the hang of it.  I shape my dough as if I were making a roll, but instead of putting the side that has been pulled together down, I put it up.  It makes the bread real purdy. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove lid and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, behold the beauty and cool on a wire rack.

 
Behold the beauty!
 
 
This is my pot.  She's a beauty.  (This stove...she is not a beauty.)She is 10 inches in diameter and about 3 inches high.  I guess you would call her a Dutch oven.  She has a nice lid that can also be used to fry up things, like a grilled cheese on your amazing No Knead Bread!
 
NO KNEAD BREAD
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1-3/4 t. salt
  • 1 t. yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
 
Combine flour, salt and yeast in a nonreactive container/bowl.  Mix with warm water.  Dough will be shaggy and really wet.  Cover and let rise for 12 to 18 hours.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees. While you are waiting for the oven to come up to temperature heavily flour a wooden cutting board. Get you hands slightly wet and scoop dough out of container. Shape into a round and place on floured board.  Sprinkle top with cornmeal or flour (enough so that plastic wrap/tea towel will not stick to the dough) and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise while pan heats.  Now that the oven is preheated, place pan in oven. No need (haha..get it), no need to spray or grease pan.  This bread will not stick! Let the pot heat in the oven for 30 minutes.  When the pot is smoking HOT, remove from the oven and shape dough has if you were making a round dinner roll, pulling the sides under.  Flip the pulled under side up and carefully thrown in pan (carefully as not to burn yourself). Put lid on pan and place in oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove lid and bake another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, scoop bread out of pot with a spatula or large spoon and cool on a wire rack.  Once cooled, if you want to keep a crispy, crunchy out side, store in a paper bag.  If you store in plastic, the outside crust will become less crisp, more soft, but the taste will remain.    

I shared this recipe with the good folks at:

We are THAT Family...Works for me Wednesday, Raising Homemakers
 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nacho Cheese, Not The Fake Kind!

Fake cheese! How I love it. Some of my chicks adore it too! Too bad I didn't know how to make real fake cheese when they were born. It seems their palates have grown accustomed to the fake stuff. Homemade nacho cheese is DELISH! Homemade nacho cheese is also very easy to make.




Nacho Cheese
•8 ozs. Sharp Cheddar Cheese
•1 cup evaporated milk
•1 T. Cornstarch
•2 T. Hot sauce like Frank's
•1 (4 oz.) can green chilies

Grate cheese on the large holes of a box grater. Toss with cornstarch. In a saucepan combine cheese mixed with cornstarch, evaporated milk and hot sauce. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until melted and thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour in entire can of chilies, juice and all. Stir and serve. Yum!

 
  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Can I Post From My iPhone?

I am a total slacker blogger. I just realized blogging from the phone may be possible. Duh.

Anyway, I have found a good use for those pesky Tinker Toys that really hurt when you step on them!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Crock Pot Applesauce

It is not quite fall.  I wish it were.  It has been 122 degrees now for days on end.  Okay not really.  It just feels like 122 degrees when it is only a balmy 110 degrees!  What I am trying to say is it is stinkin' hot in this part of California. 

On a positive note I do live in the agricultural center of the universe.  Spoiled rotten by fresh fruits and veggies year round.  Someone keeps bringing all this fruit from their trees at their house to church.  Bags and bags of apples, peaches, grapes, flats of Roma tomatoes.  Amazing. 


Here is what I made today:



APPLESAUCE CROCK POT STYLE

12 cups apple, peeled and sliced (I don't know what kind they are..kinda reddish/green)
1/2 cup sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon

Peel and slice apples, removing seeds and yucky spots.  Toss apples in crock pot with cinnamon and sugar mixture.  Pour over water and lemon juice.  Give it a stir.  Cook on low for six hours.  After six hours or so give it a stir (I used a flat whisk, which seemed to make it smooth right out) and it should just fall right apart into a big batch of applesauce!  How easy was that? 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ranch Dressing...Low calorie style.

Maybe I should just restate my blog purpose.  My blog is now just another one of those blogs that publishes recipes found on Pinterest. Unlike my Pinterest board, these are actual recipes that I have tried and find good enough to pass on to my friends.

Just recently have I become a fan of Ranch dressing.  I know, I am weird.  How Un-American to not eat Ranch.  I made this super-low calorie Ranch and no one knew the difference.  It is thick and creamy just like it would be with mayo.  Aside from the fact this recipe is super low cal, it also comes from a blog whose url is fluffimama.  I like anyone called fluffimama.



LOW-CALORIE RANCH DRESSING
  • 1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing (not dip)
  • 1 cup non-fat, plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

As my friend Amy would say it is HOT, HOT, HOT!  I would say it is even too hot to BBQ.  Really, who wants to stand out side when it is 110 degrees and grill something?  Not me!  The crock pot should be our friend in the summer, not just when it is chilly out. 

I have said before that I would love to be an awesome blogger...but it is not meant to be.  There is too much life going on.  I have been challenged by Kristen to get it going so I am going to give it a try...Again!



SLOW COOKER SLOPPY JOES

  • 1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef (I used some of my ground chuck)
  • 1 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage
  • 1 sm. onion, chopped
  • 1/2 med. sized bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 T. cider vinegar
  • 2 T. yellow mustard
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 hamburger buns, toasted 
Chop onion and bell pepper.  Brown ground beef, sausage, onion and bell pepper. Drain well.  Place in 4-1/2 quart crock pot.  Add remaining ingredients and cook on HIGH for 4 hours.  Serve on toasted buns please.  It would be an insult to the Sloppy Joe if you didn't.


To toast buns, spread with butter and grill in a skillet or on a griddle. 





Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Best Hamburger...EVER!

What has happened to the Sassy Chicken you ask?  Is there anyone out there to ask?  Well the Chicken still cooks but is a lame blogger.  The Chicken still cooks but is a lame photographer.   Nuff said. 

Nothing could make Rowdy happier than a burger.  Not just any old burger.  A burger made from freshly ground chuck roast.  I have been grinding my own beef now for about 2 years.  Sure it is a pain in the booty, but the result is awesome.  First off you know what you are getting.  No organs in our ground beef.  We have pretty much narrowed it down to grinding chuck for the best flavor, texture and juiciness.  You can also control the fat by cutting out any very thick marbling. 

This recipe is inspired by a Pinterest find.  Who doesn't love Pinterest?  Little Miss Momma is on to something with this recipe.  Here is my version of The Best Ever Hamburger....



Where is the picture of the finished product?  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

THE BEST HAMBURGER EVER!
  • 1 lb. freshly ground beef (or store bought...that doesn't fly round here)
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce (because it is the best)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 of a very small red onion diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste (don't forget that BBQ sauce is salty already)
Combine all ingredients, mixing thoroughly.  Shape into four patties.  Grill and serve on soft buns with all the fixings.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lemon Cookies

These Lemon Cookies were a winner. 

Maybe I over did the powdered sugar a bit....but I did not hear any complaints.



LEMON COOKIES
The original recipe can be found here.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 t. lemon zest
  • 1 T. lemon juice (not gonna lie...I used 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 t. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/8 t. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease cookie sheet with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients slowly until just combined, excluding the powdered sugar. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

S'Mores A La Mode

Did you say S'Mores A La Mode?

Yes.

Did you say you put a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup on the graham cracker?

Yes.

Did you say it was awesome?

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are two ways to make S'Mores.  There is the kid way which entails lighting the marshmallow on fire, blowing it out and then trying to smash it between the crackers.  The grown-up S'More takes patience.  Frist, you must have a fire that is just right.  Nice hot coals, no flames.  Turning your marshmallow slowly until it starts to expand.  The outside starts to become golden brown..not charred by the flames ;O).  You have to be very careful.  You can risk the marshmallow falling off into the abyss if you get to greedy with your puffiness/browness level. Be sure to have your cracker and candy ready.  We like Hershey Bars or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.  (We have tried many a candy, but these two are the best!)


Of course it is in a bowl, it is going to be A La Mode!


Hubs has some mad marshmallow skill!


You may want an assistant.  It is very handy to have someone to put the lid on the S'More while you remove the marshmallow cooking utensil.


Please apply gentle pressure so that you don't burn yourself with molten marshmallow.


Yes, it would have been good just like it is.  But let's take it over the top.



You can thank me later!


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Holy Pants Into Shorts...It's Simple

A quick way to turn holy jeans into shorts.  Even you non-sewers can do it! 


Get a pair of jeans that still fit, but have seen better days in the knee area.


Cut to desired length adding 1-1/2 inches for the cuff.


With a sewing ruler press up a hem of 3/4 inch and then fold over another 3/4 inch. Press and pin (if you are not lazy.)


For the inner seam sew just to the back of the factory seam, going back and forth a few times or if you don't have a machine you can just tack it down with a needle and thread.


For the outside seam, flip back the serged seam and sew back and forth a few times or tack by hand then flip the serged edge back over where you have sewn.


All done.  No heming, no frayed edges of the 70's.  Takes about 20 minutes including taking out and putting away all your sewing stuff!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Cheese Dog

The first time the hubs and went to North Carolina we were on a mission.  Well two separate missions.  I was there to have a Tubal Ligation Reversal and the hubs went there to eat!  Although he was born in Atlanta, he claims to hail from North Carolina and has a strange love for the food they serve.  The weird thing is all restaurants in North Carolina have hot dogs on the menu.  That is something you just don't see here California.  Now they don't just call'em hot dogs, they call'em Slaw Dogs.  A Slaw Dog is mustard, dog, chili, slaw and maybe onion.  Ewww! 


Here are the hubs California Slaw Dogs!  He loves them...

First off, I don't really like hot dogs.  Maybe once a year I like a dog that has been fried or BBQ'ed to death on a nice soft bun with NO condiments, just dog and bun. 

Secondly, the natives do not call it a hot dog, they call it a weenie!  This is so hillarious.  Here is how it went down at our first stop...late at night...at Zack's Hot Dogs, in Burlington, North Carolina. (The hubs loves this place so much he once named a dog Zack.) At first glace of the menu I thought man this place is so cheap!  At second glance I saw a menu item that said Cheese Dog (No Hot Dog).  I was sold.  The nice young man came to take our order.  I ordered one Cheese Dog.  He obviously thought I was from Mars or something because he replied, "You know that ain't got no weenie?"  Ummm...yes.  I guess it was my strange acent that threw him off. 

The Cheese Dog arrived.  It was a chunk of cheese in place of a dog, topped with chili and onions.  Delish! 

Here's the thing, when you have kids you have to serve hot dogs...right?  Well now I don't have to eat the dog and I make my own Cheese Dog at home.


There is my Cheese Dog....


Here is my Chili Cheese Dog !

A word about the chili.  Chili for dogs should have NO beans.  I use the Pioneer Woman's version of chili from The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook.  We love this chili. 

PW's Chili
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 t. ground oregano
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper (optional, I use a scant 1/4 t.)
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 cup masa, mixed with 1/2 cup water
Begin by gathering your ingredients and measuring out your spices. In a large pot, like a dutch oven, cook beef and garlic until browned and cooked through.  Drain off grease. Pour in the tomato sauce, spices and salt. Stir together, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and adding more liquid as needed, using 1/2 cup of water at a time.  (I find I use quite a bit of water to keep the chili from sticking to the bottom.  I usually set my timer for 10 minute intervals and check the liquid level.) After simmering for an hour combine masa and 1/2 cup water. Add to chili and stir to incorporate. Simmer for another 10 minutes. Scoop on top of dogs!!

Now, if you want to just serve this up as a bowl full o'chili...add beans people.  I usually throw in 4 cups cooked pinto beans and more water. 

A note about the water, it will not water down the chili, but if your a scaredy cat and feel like you are just adding too much water you can thrown in another can of tomato sauce.

Please see Works For Me Wednesday and Raising Homemakers for more inspiration!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Avoid the pink slime...grind your own beef.

Pink slime is all over the news!!! I have been grinding my own ground beef for about a year and a half now.  Occasionally I get lazy and buy some, but for the most part grinding beef is very easy and you can use meat that is on sale often making grinding it yourself cheaper for leaner ground beef.  Buying the leanest ground beef (93/7) can cost upwards of $6 a pound.  One example would be boneless chuck roasts, which you can often buy for two bucks or less per pound.  You can mix different meats.  You can trim a little or as much fat off as you want.  The best part...no pink slime.  Here are my basic instructions for grinding your own beef.

Yesterday I did grind up about 4-1/2 pounds sirloin, which I had bought for $3 a pound.  Sirloin was very lean and this was my first time using just sirloin.  It tasted great, was very lean and was juicy even though there was very little fat!

For fun I made round bread!  Then we had patty melts with fresh ground sirloin patties, grilled onions and cheddar cheese.



















works for me wednesday at we are that family

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