Southwestern Turkey Chili (ONE POT!)

With all of the holidays coming up, you’ll be doing lots of cooking, not to mention, you’ll be indulging an awful lot. This is a quick, simple, healthy recipe to help you stay on track and not be one of the average Americans that gains 7-10 pounds between now and January 1st!!

I made a big pot. You can easily cut the recipe in half. But, if you’re already making it, why not make a lot of it so you can store in the freezer or eat later in the week?

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion

3 cloves crushed garlic

2 lbs ground turkey (or ground chicken/beef)

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon of salt and pepper

1 tablespoon chili powder (optional)

42 oz of diced tomatoes

2 green peppers, diced

1 small can of corn

1 can of black beans

1 can of kidney beans

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Saute the onions and garlic until fragrant. Add the meat, salt, pepper and cilantro. Stir and cook until the meat has browned. Drain the fat. Add chili powder… and even some red pepper flakes if you’d like!

2. Now add the rest of the ingredients. Corn, green pepper, black beans, kidney beans and diced tomatoes. Stir and cook for at least 20 minutes, but you can leave it on simmer for a few hours if need be. You can also make this in a crock pot!

I know I make easy recipes, but seriously, only 2 steps to this one!! Be creative! Add some other stuff and let me know your variation of it!

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Have a very happy and thankful Thanksgiving 🙂

Stephanie

 

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The Best Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Casserole

Why can I claim it’s the best? Because not only does it have marshmallows, but a crunchy topping of pecans and cornflakes!!

Ingredients for a pretty nice sized casserole:

4 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 6 potatoes)

1/3 cup butter

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups cornflakes cereal

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 1/2 cups marshmallows

———–

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel the potatoes and cut into smaller pieces so they cook faster. Add to the pot once it boils. Take them out when tender with a slotted spoon in about 20-30 minutes. (You’ll know they are tender when you can easily stick a fork through them.)

2. Add to a mixing bowl. Mix the potatoes, butter and eggs together. Then, add the milk, salt and vanilla. Mix until nice and creamy. (You could add 1 cup of sugar here, but I opted not to, since the topping will be so sweet. And honestly, you’re going to have enough sugar that day… do you really need more?!)

3. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar, cornflakes and pecans. Stir until well coated. Since cornflakes can be kind of huge, you can use your spatula to chop them up a bit.

4. Place the potato mixture in a casserole dish. Add the cornflake mixture in rows on top, leaving 2 inches of space in between each row. Place in a 350º oven for 30 minutes.

5. When it comes out, add the marshmallows where you left spaces. Put back in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the marshmallows are a lovely golden brown.

6. Let sit for 10 minutes and then serve up and enjoy!

The most time consuming part of this recipe is peeling the potatoes. Other than that, super easy and quick! Doesn’t make too much of a mess and it’s quite yummy. The biggest challenge of this recipe, is once it comes out of the oven, trying hard not to grab a fork and just eat off the toppings…

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Enjoy! Send a pic if you make it!!

Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!

Stephanie

Salted Caramel Chocolate Pecan Bars

The title says it all. There are no words for how incredibly delicious these are. (not to mention how EASY they are to make!) Check it out!

1 sugar cookie mix (and whatever is needed to make it, eggs, butter, etc)

1 1/2 cup pecans

3/4 cups chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1. Line a 9×13 inch baking tray with tin foil for super easy clean up! Grease with non stick spray or butter. Set aside.

2. Make a sugar cookie mix. You can buy them in the baking aisle that you just need to add butter and eggs too, or you can make your fave recipe from scratch! Whichever you have time for. Pour in the tray and bake at 375º for 12 minutes until light golden brown.

3. When it comes out, add the pecans in an even layer and then the chocolate chips. (feel free to add up to 2 full cups of pecans and 1 cup of chocolate chips!)

4. In a small sauce pan, heat up the butter, brown sugar and heavy cream. Once all ingredients are completely melted and combined, whisk in the vanilla and sea salt. Then, pour over the pecans and chocolate! Be sure to do this slowly and get all over!

5. Finally, bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350º. Tada! Let cool for 10 minutes, cut and serve.

It’s heaven in your mouth.

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Enjoy! And let me know how they come out when you try them. You may even make them right now, since it’s quite possible that you have all of the ingredients!! This would also be perfect as a Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert! 🙂 Happy baking!

Stephanie

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Classic Peanut Brittle (No thermometer needed!)

Peanut brittle is such a classic holiday gift. Don’t buy an expensive package of it this year! Buy a few half sized mason jars, make your own brittle and wrap with pretty bows! Brittle usually gets a bad rap, but it’s really not difficult. The only complication you would have is if you walk away from it, it will burn. If you don’t, then you’ll be golden! Having patience, young padawan, is the KEY to making beautiful brittle!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp water

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tbl butter

1 cup peanuts (unroasted for that classic peanut brittle taste)

In a saucepan, add the water, sugar and corn syrup. Stir and cook over a medium flame until a candy thermometer reaches 240º F.

If you do NOT have a thermometer, here’s what you do. Take a very small cup of cold water and drop a bit of the mixture in. If it dissolves into the water, it’s not ready. Mine took 18 minutes to reach the correct temperature, so around 15 minutes start trying the water test. When it turns into a hard goo in the water upon being dropped in, then it’s ready! (Watch the video to see what it should look like!)

Mix the baking soda, water and vanilla together. Set aside so it’s ready to grab later.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you are doubling the recipe, line 2 baking sheets so you are prepared!

When your mixture is at the right temperature, add the butter and peanuts. Stir and now you are waiting for it to heat up to 300º. Here is where there is potential to make a boo boo. Don’t walk away! Stay by it and stir frequently. If you want to be safe, I’d say stir once every minute. The peanuts can burn at the bottom of the pot if they are sitting there not moving. And if they do, the pot starts smoking and the smell will be unbearable! Check out what mine looked like after my first attempt… 🙂

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Some people LOVE stuff burned. Me, not so much. My Poppou was thrilled when I brought him this completely burned batch! He didn’t have to know that I sacrificed my contacts from all of the smoke that was a result of the burning 😉

Should take about 10 minutes to get up to 300º. Drop some of the peanuts into the cold water again. If they come out hard and look like brittle, then it’s ready!

Immediately take off the heat and stir in the baking soda mixture we made earlier. Then pour all over the parchment. It will harden quickly so pour quickly and then spread out quickly or it will be VERY thick. Buttering a spatula will make it easier to spread. But if you do that, make sure it’s pre buttered, or else while you are buttering it, it will harden and be too late!

In about 30 minutes, it will harden, then you can break into pieces and pop one in your mouth! Mmm. The buttery, peanut, sugar flavor is just divine.

Enjoy! And send me a picture if you make it!!!

Stephanie

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Butternut Squash, Quinoa, Chickpea Soup!

Om nom nom. Seriously, fall soups are one of the best parts of the season! And here’s another one to add to your list.

This soup makes the most delicious broth EVER! The flavors will make your tummy sing. It’s a vegetarian, low carbohydrate and gluten free soup. If you’re not a vegetarian, you can add pieces of chicken if you’d like! This combination of butternut squash, celery and chickpeas is perfection.

This would be a fantastic addition to your Thanksgiving dinner! Definitely add that cracked pepper at the end, makes a huge difference!

Ingredients:

2 tbl olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cups celery, chopped

6 cups butternut squash (should be about 1 large sized squash)

32 oz can chickpeas

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

7 cups vegetable broth

1 cup quinoa

Ready for how easy this is?

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Saute the onions. Add the celery and sauté for another 3 minutes.

2. Add the squash, chickpeas, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir.

3. Add the broth, stir and let boil for about 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender enough that you can stick a fork through it easily.

4. Lastly add the quinoa. Stir and then let it cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with fresh parsley, cracked black pepper and parmesan cheese!IMG_0713

If you won’t be eating right away, don’t add the quinoa until 10 minutes before you are ready to sit down. Otherwise, the quinoa will soak up all of that delicious broth and instead, you’ll have a pilaf 🙂

(If you are leaving to cook in a crockpot all day, don’t add the quinoa until you are almost ready to eat!)

**If you are adding chicken, just sauté pieces of chicken breast with the onions at the very beginning and then continue as written.

Simple as that! Perfect for a throw together weeknight meal, or as a Thanksgiving appetizer! I hope you try it!

Stephanie

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Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Brownies

These are so so SO yummy! The toasted marshmallows in the middle mesh the brownie together with the rice krispies. Mmm. And your kitchen will smell scrumptious!

You’ll need:

1 brownie mix

4 cups marshmallows (divided in half)

1/3 cup of butter

1 cup peanut butter

3 1/2 cups rice krispies

sprinkles (optional)

Very simply, line a 9×13 inch pan with tin foil and bake the package of brownies. When they have 5 minutes left, take them out.

Cover with a layer of marshmallows, about 1-2 cups. Put back in the oven until they are toasted, about 5-10 minutes.

When they come out, let cool while you make the rice krispie topping. Melt the butter and peanut butter in a small saucepan until creamy. Add 2 cups of marshmallows and cook on low heat until smooth. Transfer to another bowl and gently fold in the rice krispies, 1 cup at a time.

Pour over the brownies and add some sprinkles for fun!

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You can eat them warm or cold. Very simple to cut up. You can make them into bite size pieces to make a lot, or cut them into big bars!!

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Enjoyyyyy!
Stephanie

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Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Chicken in ONE POT!

No, really. All made in one pot. I swear! SO SIMPLE to make, either for a whole family or just yourself. Prepared and in your mouth in 20 minutes. SO creamy and delicious, you’re going to love this.

For the chicken:

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ yellow onion

1 pound chicken breast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup fresh parsley

 For the pasta:

1 pound uncooked pasta

2 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree

  1. To prepare your ingredients, chop the parsley. Then dice the onion and cut the chicken breast into small pieces.
  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Saute the onions until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir and cook for a few minutes until there is no more pink on the outside. (If the inside is not fully cooked, that’s okay, it will continue to cook with the pasta.)
  1. Add the pasta, water, chicken broth, salt, nutmeg and pumpkin. Mix together. Bring to a boil and cover. Let this cook on medium heat until the pasta has absorbed all of the liquid and has turned into a nice creamy sauce, about 10-12 minutes. As the sauce thickens, be sure to stir every few minutes so it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. (If it is too creamy for your liking, you can stir in more water, ¼ cup at a time.)
  1. Serve with a garnish of fresh parsley, cracked black pepper and parmesan cheese.

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Ways to vary the recipe:

  1. Make it vegetarian by leaving out the chicken. You can also add spinach. (!)
  2. If you would like less of a pumpkin flavor, add only 1 cup of pumpkin puree. You can also change the 2 cups of water to 2 cups of chicken broth for a total of 4 cups of chicken broth.
  3. Make it spicy by adding red pepper flakes and more black pepper.

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Seriously, you’re going to LOVE this. Let me know when you try it! Send me a pic!

Have a great week!
Stephanie