Monday, March 31, 2014

Chipotle Black Bean Chili - Slow Cooker

Anytime I am over at my friend Donna's house, I love to see what recipe is out on her counter and what is cooking.  She is great about digging in cookbooks and finding that yummy recipe.  She always has something for me to taste when I drop by.  I love it!!  She is also from the South  - we share a love for good food.

I make pretty traditional chili.  Donna's family loves this recipe so I wanted to give it a try.  This is another slow cooker recipe so I tried it recently when our girls were home.  I hate to spend all of time cooking when they are back for a visit so the slow cooker is the perfect solution.

I had leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce - plus cilantro and avocado.  Also, I browned my meat and mixed everything together the night before so I could just throw it in the slow cooker the next morning.  I don't usually have a lot of extra time in the morning.

You will love this new spin on chili!

  We decided the chili had so much flavor - it didn't need the cilantro.  Chris did top his with purple             onion, sour cream and cheese.  I used hot sausage so the chili had a pretty good kick to it.

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

1 1/2 lbs ground beef, ground pork, bulk pork sausage, ground turkey, etc.  (I did 1 pound ground beef                  and half pound hot Italian sausage)
2 (14 oz) cans reduced sodium beef broth
1 (16 oz) jar mild or medium chunky salsa
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 oz) can golden hominy, rinsed and drained
2 cups loose-pack frozen diced hash browns with onions and peppers
1-2 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped (handle carefully)
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
Toppings - avocado, shredded cheese, etc.

In a large skillet, cook meat until brown, drain.  Transfer to 4-5 quart slow cooker,  Stir in broth, salsa, beans, hominy, potatoes, peppers, chili powder, oregano and cumin.  Cover,  Cook on low 7- 8 hours. Top with avocado and/or cheese.  Makes six servings.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos

I was looking around the internet for a new recipe.  Slow Cooker recipes are a favorite - perfect for those weekdays while I am at work.  Believe it or not, I have been cooking healthier lately.... or eating healthier.  I still make favorites for the Chris and the girls.

I made these Slow Cooker Pork Tacos last week when Annie and Jenna were back from Baylor.  We LOVED them.  They had a great flavor.  We ate some with mango salsa, some with purple onion, cilantro, avocado and Cotija cheese.   Annie and I loved ours with lime.  YUM!  All varieties were great.
At first, I couldn't find the Cotija cheese and searched the internet for a substitute.  If I wanted the aged flavor, go for parmesan but if I wanted the texture, go for feta.  I finally found it in the store.  I am so glad I did - great texture and flavor and perfect for these tacos and other Mexican dishes.  AND - I made my sauce the night before so I could throw it in the slow cooker quickly the next morning.

I found this recipe on the Food Network.  It got 5 stars and 182 reviews.  I loved reading the reviews and how people varied their recipes.

Slow Cooker Pork Tacos (adapted from Food Network Kitchens)

3 whole ancho chiles
3 whole pasilla chiles (I couldn't find so I used four of the above)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2-3 chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
kosher salt
2 tsp dried oregano
3 3/4 cups low sodium chicken broth
4 lb. boneless pork shoulder (mine had a bone and worked great too)
freshly ground pepper
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick (I opted to omit - based on reviews)
corn tortillas
toppings - cilantro, avocado, limes, Cotija cheese

Put chiles and garlic in a bowl - add 2 -3 Tbsp water and microwave on high until soft and pliable - 2-3 minutes.  Stem and seed the chiles and peel the garlic.  Transfer chiles and garlic to a blender.  Add chipotles, onion, 2 Tbsp olive oil, honey, vinegar, 1 Tbsp salt and the oregano in blender - puree til smooth.  Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in skillet over medium - high heat - add the chile sauce and fry, stirring, until thick and fragrant.  Pour in the broth and reduce until slightly thickened.

Season the pork with salt and pepper and transfer to a large slow cooker.  Add bay leaves and cinnamon stick.  Cover and cook until meat is tender.  I cooked it all day on low.  Discard bay leaves and cinnamon stick, shred the pork with two forks, season with salt and pepper if needed.  Serve in warm corn tortillas with toppings.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Love this new recipe!  I made it for the girls when they were home last week.   My friend Shelly gave me this recipe. She has four children (triplets and an older son) and she said they love this. My girls loved it and then I shared the rest with my preschool teachers.  Try to ignore the two sticks of butter and just make it and enjoy.... or share it with others!!

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Cake :
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c butter -  melted.

Mix all ingredients together except butter. Slowly stir in butter. Pour into 9 x13 greased pan.

1 cup butter - melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon

Mix topping ingredients, and swirl into batter.

Bake 350 for   30-40 minutes.

Top with your basic powdered sugar glaze.

2 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla.

(Per Shelley - I like to sprinkle with powdered sugar. Also you could easily add nuts, but that would ruin it (as my kids say)  Shelly also mentioned that she often mixes the dry ingredients together at night so she can make the cake quickly the next morning!!