1.31.2014

Skinny Stove Top Sweet Potato Chili


When I think of winter foods (yes I consider anything under 60 degrees winter…I grew up in Michigan, so don't judge me that I've become pathetic), chili is the first dish that comes to mind. There's something soothing & comforting about a big bowl of chili.  This particular recipe caught my eye for 2 reasons. #1. It's made stovetop & takes under an hour to make.  Most chili recipes require hours of cooking & aren't the most convenient to make during the work week. This was a perfect solution. #2. Sweet potato! How often does one have sweet potato in their chili? I never have but now I don't know that I will ever want chili without it!  I love that this is a skinny recipe as I am always on the look for recipes that don't taste like something "healthy."  Big thanks to Gina over at Skinny Taste. She really is a genius. I served this with my Corn Cake Bake & it was awesome.  We will definitely make this again!

Skinny Stove Top Sweet Potato Chili
Serves: 4-5
Cook time according to me: 40-45 mins
How difficult was this for me? Not bad at ALL!

Ingredients
20 oz. Lean ground turkey
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
10 oz. can Rotel mild tomatoes with green chillies
8 oz. can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 medium sweet potato, peeled & diced into 1/2 inch cubes
Salt & pepper to taste
Sour cream to top

Directions:

In a large skillet, brown turkey over medium-high heat, breaking it up as it cooks into smaller pieces & season with salt & cumin.

Once meat is cooked through, add in onion & garlic. Cook for 3 mins over medium heat.


Add can of Rotel tomatoes, sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, water, cumin, chili powder, paprika & salt.

Cover & simmer over medium-low heat until potatoes are soft & cooked through, about 25-30 mins stirring occasionally.

Once potatoes are soft, remove from heat & serve!

1.29.2014

Slow Cooker Egg & Hashbrown Scramble


Life has a tendency of getting in the way of me spending time in the kitchen. I haven't spent nearly enough time in the kitchen these past few months as I'd like. One perk to being so busy but still wanting to cook? SLOW COOKER MEALS! 


I've always wanted to use the slow cooker for breakfast.  I've seen variations of this recipe & I am ashamed of myself that I waited so long to try this out. TALK ABOUT EASY!  Essentially dump everything in the slow cooker, go to sleep & wake up to a delicious meal.  What I love about this recipe is you can completely customize it to your own taste buds.  I got this particular recipe from one of my favorite sites, Six Sister's Stuff.  I will definitely be making this again!

Slow Cooker Egg & Hash Brown 
Serves: 6-8
Cook Time: 8 Hours
How difficult was this for Rachel? Easy!

Ingredients:
1 (30 oz) package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 lb ground turkey sausage, browned & drained 
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced (mine was bad when I cut into it, hence not seen in photos)
1 red pepper, diced
12 eggs
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:
Spray a 6 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray 
(you cannot make this recipe in a smaller crock pot because it won't fit). 


Layer 1/2 of the potatoes on the bottom of slow cooker.

Top with half of the sausage, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, onions, green peppers, and red peppers. Repeat the layers again.

Beat eggs, milk, and salt and pepper in large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour egg mixture evenly over potato-sausage mixture.


Cook on low setting for 8 hours or on high setting for 4 hours or until eggs are set.

Top with green onions, salsa, tomatoes, mushrooms, avocado- whatever you like! 


1.24.2014

Artichoke & Fontina Dip

 

Who doesn't love a hot cheesy dip for a party? Let's be honest. Who doesn't love one in general? I was researching dips for NYE & wanted something along the lines of a Spinach & Artichoke dip, but I wanted to change it up a bit.   This is the solution!  Hot, cheesy, creamy & delicious. Perfect for a party!


J & I had a bunch of friends over for NYE & this dip was definitely a hit! There was a point in the evening when I got caught eating it with just my fork & ignoring the crackers on my plate. Oops! Martha Stewart gets the credit for the dip, my dear friend Kennice (a photographer) gets the credit for the top 2 photos & my good friend Lindsay gets credit for actually making the dip while I ran around doing various things (hence the lack of photos). So really, all I did was buy the ingredients.  Whatever. It still tasted great!

Artichoke & Fontina Dip
Serves: 10
Cook Time According to Me: 45 mins
How difficult was this for Lindsay? Pretty easy (though she's a pro)

Ingredients:
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced small
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 cans (14 oz) whole artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 ounces Neufatchel cream cheese
2 1/4 cup cubed Fontina cheese (3/4 lb)
Crackers or Pita for dipping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.



In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium.

Add onion & cook until softened, about 5 mins.

Add garlic & cook until fragrant, approx. 1 min.

Add artichokes & wine. Cook until liquid evaporates, about 8 mins.

Remove skillet from heat & stir in Neufchatel until blended.

Fold in one cup Fontina. Transfer mix to 2 quart baking dish.

Sprinkle rest of Fontina on top.

Bake until golden & bubbling, about 30 mins.
 
 

 

1.22.2014

Slow Cooker Brisket Tacos with Mango BBQ Sauce


I love brisket. Always have, always will.  I made my first brisket last year & it was DELICIOUS.  When I found this recipe on Pinterest (where else?) I had to look twice at what I was reading. SLOW COOKER BRISKET?????? I don't know why I thought this was such a novel idea, but I did & I still do.  I NEVER would have thought to make a brisket in my slow cooker even though when I think about it, it makes perfect sense. AND THEN to turn it into TACOS??? Oh, it's cooked in DR. PEPPER. SOLD.

First off, the recipe is so simple, well my version is so simple. The original recipe is from Confections of a Foodie Bride & while I applaud her tenacity for making a homemade Mango BBQ sauce that includes a homemade Mango chutney...I simply do not have the patience for that.  Instead, I bought a Mango-Lime salsa & our favorite BBQ sauce, Sweet Baby Rays, & simply combined the two.  Let me tell you, it was DELICIOUS.  I will definitely be making these again!

Slow Cooker Brisket Tacos with Mango BBQ Salsa
Serves: 8-10 Tacos
Cook Time according to Rachel: 8 hours 15 mins
How difficult was this for me? Easy!

Ingredients:
2.5-3lb Brisket
1 tsp chili powder
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. Dr. Pepper
8 oz. Brie, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 jar mango salsa (see link above for recipe from scratch)
1 jar BBQ sauce of choice
8-10 flour tortillas

Directions:
Rub meat with salt, pepper, chili powder & garlic.


Place meat in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour in Dr. Pepper.

Cook Brisket on low for 7.5 hours.


Remove from slow cooker & let rest for 15 mins.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.


Slice meat against the grain. My brisket just fell apart, so I skipped ahead & just shredded it. 


In a large bowl, combine jar of salsa, BBQ sauce & shredded meat.


On a tinfoil-lined baking sheet, lay out tortillas & spread with brie.

Place a spoonful of meat on top & add shredded cheese.


Bake tacos for 5-10 mins until the cheese melts.

1.21.2014

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites


The unbelievable happened a few weeks ago, my Spartans made the Rose Bowl!  As soon as we beat OSU & locked ourselves in the big game, my friends all jumped at the chance to be in LA for NYE to attend the game on the 1st & I jumped at the chance to host a NYE party. I love parties & over time I've come to really enjoy playing the role of host.  I immediately hopped on Pinterest in hunt for some new recipes to try out. I got a few new dips (stay tuned), but I wanted to do something a bit more fun. Enter these tasty little bites.  What a fun treat!  These were super easy to make & a nice addition to the other dips I had prepared.  I found the recipe at Food Renegade & am happy I did because these were a huge hit! I will definitely be making these again!

Note: I was so busy playing host, I forgot to take photos. At least my good friend Kennice got one of the final product!

Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites
Makes: 32 bites
Cook Time: 75 mins.
How difficult was this for me? Easy! (I also had a 2nd set of hands helping me wrap)

Ingredients:
2 medium sweet potatoes
16 pieces center cut bacon, sliced in half giving you 32 pieces
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp chili powder
4 tbsp maple syrup
wood tooth picks

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees & bring large pot of water to boil.

Peel sweet potatoes.

Place peeled sweet potatoes in boiling water for 3-5 mins to soften.

Remove & cut length wise into quarters. Cut each quarter in half & then in half again giving you 32 pieces.

Melt butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add chili powder.

Gently toss bites in with butter/chili powder so bites are completely covered.

Take sweet potatoes & wrap in bacon securing with tooth picks.

Placed on greased baking sheet.

Bake for 45 mins turning once around the 20-25 min mark.

Once done, drizzle with maple syrup & let set for 3 mins. Then serve!

 

1.17.2014

New Year, New Look, New Blog (sort of)

It's a brand new year & without trying to be too cliche, it's time for a fresh start.  I started this blog because I wanted to try something new & cooking was COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone.  I've been blogging about food now almost 2 years (crazy!) & for the past few months, I've had the itch to expand my topics & posts.  I don't always have time to be in the kitchen (hence why I haven't posted since September), but that doesn't mean I can't be sharing other experiences & thoughts even if nobody actually reads them.  I plan to still share recipes, but you can also expect more posts on home decor/interior design, books I'm reading,  adventures in LA & most likely a dog post here & there as well.  A big shout out to J for helping with the re-design of the blog. I couldn't be more excited for this fresh start & I hope you'll stick around for what will definitely be an adventure!














1.05.2014

Big Changes Coming!

Hi everyone! I know it's been a while since I've posted & I know I keep saying that.  There are some pretty cool changes coming to the blog in the next few weeks. So stay tuned…it will be worth it!  Hope everyone had a great holiday season!

xo,
Rachel