Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chicken Bacon White Chili...and Questions!

I love bacon. I also believe for the most part that bacon can add a yummy touch to most hearty dinners. About a year ago I was experimenting with a White Chicken Chili recipe and just felt like it fell a bit short. It was missing that smoky "umph" that I had been looking for. So I thought....yes! Bacon of course. It added that missing link. I was tickled with the way it turned out. So a year later when my husband told me his work was holding a chili contest I was ready to break out the big guns with this recipe. Only to be told the day before that it had been cancelled. Darn! I had already purchased the ingredients so I decided to make it anyway. This second time around I didn't make it nearly as spicy but I really felt like something was missing. I cant figure out what. I think my cumin might have turned funky. I threw it away just in case and restocked it in my pantry. I find it best topped with sour cream, cheese and a little salsa. Enjoy!

Chicken Bacon White Chili
12 oz pack center cut bacon chopped into small pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (4 ounce) can diced jalapeno peppers
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
3 (15 ounce) cans white beans (I mash up one can to make the chili thicker)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Saute bacon large saucepan until crispy but not burnt. Remove bacon from the pan and drain reserving 1 table spoon of bacon drippings. Slowly cook and stir the onion until tender in the drippings. Mix in the garlic, jalapeno, green chile peppers, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Continue to cook and stir the mixture until tender, about 3 minutes. Mix in the chicken broth, chicken and white beans. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the mixture from heat. Slowly stir in the cheese until melted. Serve warm. Enjoy!

And now on to some questions! One of my new awesome followers, Michael, from Me, My Food and I tagged me to answer some questions. So here they are. :)

1. When did you learn to cook?- I have always been a bit of an experimenter when it comes to food. I remember being young (like seven) and making grilled cheese in the toaster oven and seeing which spices tasted the best added to it. I suppose that I officially learned to cook when I learned how to work the gas stove when I was around 14.

2. Name three things that are always in your fridge.-I always have condiments (I am counting that as one), Water (I am a camel) and milk (I add it to so many things I always need it)

3. Do you have any food guilty pleasures?- HAHAHA where do I start. I actually did a few posts of guilty pleasures. I will go ahead and list one of my guiltiest which would be dipping my french fries into my Frosty at Wendys.

4. Tell us about your most memorable meal...My most memorable meal....I have two. My most memorable homemade meal would have to be when my Nina (godmother) made me a huge taco dinner complete with beans, rice, homemade salsa when she was babysitting me one time. I don't get to see her as often as I would like but for some reason that sticks out in my mind. My most memorable restaurant meal was in Tucson the week of my wedding. My husband and I ate at this restaurant called Jonathan's Cork. It was heaven. It was so nice to get away from the wedding stress and sit down to a nice meal. I ordered swordfish, something I had never had before and was so excited that I loved it! ah memories......

5. What is your drink of choice?-Non alcoholic drink would have to be water. It is really all I drink besides some Diet Coke while at work. I am known as the camel. Most people watch in amazement as I polish off six to ten bottles in a day. I am just thirsty.....My alcoholic drink of choice would have to be a margarita. Made with good tequila and a splash of orange juice. Yum!!

I will tag some people and think up some questions for the next post! Thanks Michael.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shepherds Pie

Ok I am kinda over winter. We had six inches of snow here yesterday! Then we are supposed to have another two tomorrow THEN I hear we have a possible ice storm coming our way for Thursday. Last year when this kind of weather hit, our power was out for four days! And the thing about losing power out here in the middle of nowhere is that we do not have municipal water. Ours is from a well...powered by electricity. So no power equals no water. It makes me miss Arizona and the unusual heat they are experiencing. hahah I am definitely not a snowbunny...more like a desert hare.
The colder the weather the more I want comforting filling foods. So what is more filling and tummy warming than a Shepherds pie? I have found that I am a fan of new white potatoes when making a mash. So I made my cheesy bacon shepherds pie topped with smashed new white potatoes. Enjoy!!

Shepherds Pie-My Way
1/4 lb smoked bacon chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef or pork
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup seasoned tomato sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 can sweet peas
4 cups or more, fresh mashed potatoes
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°. Saute the onion and bacon together until golden brown. Add the beef or pork, and the parsley, cooking until the meat is brown and crumbly. Drain excess fat. Stir in the tomato sauce and other seasonings. Carefully stir in peas. Pour mixture into the bottom of casserole dish. Layer with 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover with mashed potatoes. Add the last 1/2 cup of cheese to the top of the casserole.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Cheese topped potatoes! Yum.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Tin O' Yum!

This year I have not been too affected by the Christmas Spirit. This has always been the busiest time of year at my job as well as just in life. Shopping, Christmas Parties, Baking, Long hours, Training, Wrapping, Decorating. I feel like that cartoon Cathy that runs around with broomstick hair yelling "ACK". Even though I have decided to be a Scrooge in many ways this year I have also decided to spread the bit of holiday cheer I have in the form of goodies. I have always felt that getting something sweet in the mail unexpectedly (or even expectantly) is so exciting. I just hope it holds up and doesn't melt....especially since it is going to AZ where it is still 80 degrees! I also hope that people like what I am sending because I am always worried about people not liking the contents. I put some of my favorites in it so...enjoy! :)

So to all those who send out food care packages, what do you typically send? What do you find holds up the best?

The Christmas Tin O' Yum!
                                                                           It includes
Rocky Road Fudge

Chocolate Bon-Bons

White Chocolate Dipped PB Ritz

And some of the Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats from my previous post

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Winter is in full swing here in Eastern KY. Since I live two hours away from the closest mall I decided to make the voyage yesterday to get some Christmas shopping done. Huge mistake! The weather was awful, it was soooo cold and I had to drive so slow. I also cant see at night very well even with my glasses on so the lights from vehicles plus the glare of the icy pavement was a scary mix. Next time I am shopping online from the comfort of my sofa.

Winter Wonderland!

One of the things I have never made is rice krispie treats. And now I wonder why. So easy! I decided to add a bit of a twist by making them with browned butter and it was so yummy! They were super marshmallow-ey and the richness from the butter was amazing. I will make this again for sure! Enjoy!

Delicious Gooeyness


The marshmallow was so stretchy!