Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chili, my way

I was went to a Chili Cook-off yesterday. I didn't enter my own chili, but I had fun as a taste-tester, and it put me in a chili state of mind.

Now, there are about a million ways to make chili, but this is chili, my way. Which means it is quick and with whatever ingredients I had on hand. I also didn’t measure any of the spices, so just start out with a little and adjust according to your taste.

½ lb ground beef
About ½ onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbs ketchup
1 ½ to 2 Tbs chili powder
½ tsp of cumin
¼ tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
Pinch of basil and oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup water

1. Cook beef and onions until the beet is browned and the onions are soft
2. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Cook for about a minute
3. Add tomatoes, sugar, ketchup and water. Bring to a boil. Once it starts bubbling, lower the heat to a simmer.
4. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings to taste. Simmer for about another 10 minutes
5. Add cheddar cheese for garnish. Serve with tortilla chips or rice*
* So some purists, such as my friend Molly, would be horrified to find that I am serving chili with rice. But this is chili my way, and all I had was rice. Sorry, Molly!
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mudslide Cookies

When I first saw these cookies on Chocolate and Zucchini, I have to admit, I was expecting them to be cookies inspired by the ever-popular cocktail drink. Although I was a bit disappointed that there was no alcohol involved in these cookies, I will still intrigued by Clotilde's characterization of these cookies as "insanely chocolatey." With Valentine's Day around the corner, I had to try them out myself.

Because these cookies are "insanely chocolately," Clotilde stresses the importance of high quality chocolate. I used Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips for melting and a Ghiradelli bittersweet bar, chopped and mixed into the batter. I also substituted walnuts instead of pecans because thats what I had, but pecans would be good too.

Click here for the recipe on Chocolate and Zucchini.
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Chunky Cheese Potato Soup

I made this soup a few years ago when I was still leaving in my apartment in Philadelphia. Back then, I made it with heavy cream as the original recipe calls for. This time, I decided to make lighter version with milk and a splash of half and half to help maintain the creaminess. (Plus, I didn’t quite have enough milk, so the half and half helped to stretch out the soup.) This soup tastes just like a baked potato, but in soup form. It has my favorite toppings to go on baked potatoes, bacon and cheese. Sour cream and green onions would probably also make good toppings.

Chunky Cheese Potato Soup
(Adapted from Food Network)

5 slices of bacon
¼ of a yellow onion, chopped
2 russet potatoes, chopped
1 ¾ milk plus a splash of half-and-half.
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tsp flour

1. Cook bacon in a large pot (I recommend using a good heavy pot, the one I used was not so good and burned the bacon.) Remove the bacon, and drain on paper towel and leave the drippings in the pot.
2. Cook onions and potatoes in the bacon drippings until softened, about 15 minutes.
3. Stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
4. Dredge cheese in flour. Stir in cheese and about a handful of the bacon. Allow to simmer for about another 15 minutes.

5. Serve with reserved bacon bits and extra cheddar cheese for garnish.

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