Sunday, January 22, 2017

Birthday Chili

The birthday boy gets to choose - I guess we are having chili!

Birthday Chili

1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 medium can petite diced tomatoes
1 lb browned/crumbled ground turkey
1 lb beef - I used round steak cut into 1" dice, browned
2 cans Ranch beans
1 can small white beans
1-1/2 sweet onion, small dice
1/2 diced sweet bell pepper, any color
1/4 c chili powder
3 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp all-purpose, salt-free seasoning
black pepper to taste (optional)

All into the crock - set on high for 6 hours, then low for 2 more.

Serve with cornbread or Frito corn chips, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

Margaritas would be good, too.

The Kinda-Famous Liz-a-rita

The Kinda-Famous Liz-a-rita

1 shot good-quality tequila
1 shot good-quality orange liquor
1/2 shot Rose's sweetened lime juice
1 shot fresh orange juice

Place above into a shaker with ice, sliced oranges and limes, squeezed - give it a good shake. Pour it all into a sturdy glass and enjoy!

Jello Shots!

Yes, these are too much fun!

We don't get fancy, but they are yummy and a bit of a treat. Not too much - just sweet enough with a bit of liquor to warm your soul.

Basic Jello Shot Recipe

In a small pan bring 1 cup of fruit juice or juice cocktail and 2 packets of Knox gelatin to a simmer. Let it bubble for a minute or two, stirring, then remove from heat. Pour liquid into a 4-cup glass measuring cup to let cool about 10 minutes, or so, before adding 1 cup of the alcohol of your choice (we typically choose flavored vodka or tequila; you can add more than one type, but the total should still be 1 cup). Pour into those cute little condiment cups spread on a baking sheet and put into the fridge for a couple of hours or until firm. It has also been suggested to fill a rectangle baking pan and then cut the 'jigglers' into squares or with cookie cutters for fun shapes.

Here are some of the combinations we have tried:

Pink Lemonade, Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka, and Triple Sec, and a drop or two of grenadine

3/4 c Limeade, 1/4 cup Roses Sweetened Lime juice, Silver Tequila, Triple Sec

Grapefruit juice, Grapefruit vodka

Orange juice, Citron Vodka
(or make a Tequila Driver with your favorite tequila and orange juice)

Cranberry juice cocktail, Fireball whiskey

Lemonade, Limoncello liquor, Whipped Cream Vodka

There are many recipes to be found with a simple google search - or create some of your own!

The Must-Duplicate Greek Chicken Recipe

I love Greek food because of its simplicity and celebration of the authentic flavors of the food. This Greek Chicken is no different. And while we outside of Greece will never be able to duplicate the flavors exactly (due to the amazing food quality they enjoy), we can give it a good go. I got, and subsequently tweaked, this Pampered Chef recipe to try out my newest pan addition:

The Pampered Chef RockCrok Grill Stone, which apparently can go on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, and in the nuke (if it fits!)...oh, and also it can go in the dishwasher. Loved the interesting shape and all the possibilities. Yes, pizza and nachos for a crowd, but it is also a stone for searing fish, chicken, and steak. So, I tried it with this wonderful Greek Chicken recipe.

Greek Chicken

2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 C EVOO - the best quality you can get your hands on
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp dried oregano, preferably Greek oregano
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp all-purpose salt-free seasoning
12 tsp black pepper (optional)
1 cut-up chicken fryer, bone-in, skin-on
8 small red potatoes, halved
1 red bell pepper, cut in large chunks
1 (or 2) zucchini, cut lengthwise, then into large chunks
1 sweet onion, halved, then sliced
8 oz. whole white mushrooms

Place lemon juice, zest, oil, garlic, oregano, salt, seasoning, pepper, and chicken into a gallon sized ziplock back. Smoosh the chicken around a bit to make sure it is all covered. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400*

Prep the potatoes, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms - spread them on the pan.

Remove chicken from the bag and place on the pan - with a basting brush, lightly brush the veggies with leftover marinade.

Bake for 1 hour. 

Note: I was a little concerned with overflow of rendered fat from chicken, so about halfway through baking I removed some of the accumulated fat with a turkey baster. Not sure if that was necessary, as it wasn't close to overflow, but I didn't want a mess in my oven! 

This recipe is fantastic! We paired it with a glass of our favorite wine...bravo!

For dessert, we enjoyed Limoncello Jello Shots! But, that's another post...

One thing that this pan would be perfect for, and I haven't done for a long time, is this:

oh yeah!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Chicken and White Bean Veggie Soup

This soup is comfort in a bowl. 
Just do it.

Chicken and White Bean Veggie Soup

1 sweet onion, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 deli-roasted whole chicken, deboned/shredded
1 can small white beans, rinsed

1 Tbsp soup seasoning mix
1 Tbsp all-purpose seasoning, salt-free
1 tsp kosher salt
pepper to taste

6 cups veggie broth

In a dutch oven saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent.

Add chicken, beans, and seasonings, then the broth. Give it a good stir and bring to a simmer.
Simmer for about an hour or so.

Loved this with slices of a sourdough baguette.