Sunday, October 24, 2010

It's Crockpot season!

I have a confession to make: Before this recipe, I've never made chili in the Crockpot. I am so glad that's changed :)My magic crockpot :)

Crockpot Chili
(Thanks Betty Crocker!)

2 lb. lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
2 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin OR cajun/creole seasoning
1 can (15 to 16 oz.) kidney or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
Shredded Cheddar cheese, if desired


In large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown; drain.

In 3 1/2 to 6 quart slow cooker, mix beef and everything BUT beans and cheese.

Cover and cook on LOW heat for 6-8 hours (or high 3-4 but it tastes better when cooked on low).

Stir in beans. Increase heat to HIGH. Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve and top with cheese.

****
I just used half an onion because it's what I had laying around. I also added a can of (drained) mushrooms because good chili always has mushrooms in it! This is delicious when served with cornbread...I think chili is one of the best cool/cold weather recipes :)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fall fun!

Ok, this isn't really a real recipe as much as something fun to do with pumpkin guts when you carve your jack-o-lantern. I made them with K this past weekend and they are delicious!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Gut your pumpkin. (I found that an ice cream scoop works really well.) Try to separate out as much of the goo/stringy stuff as you can at this point. Now rinse the pumpkin seeds off in cold water. I dumped them into a strainer/colander and rinsed. A lot. Now dry your pumpkin seeds!

Heat over to 325*. Either pour a very thin layer of cooking oil onto a big pan (make sure it has edges) or spray with cooking spray. Pour seeds on to pan, then stir to make sure they're coated in oil/cooking spray. Now arrange the seeds in a single layer on the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes; stir, then bake for 15 more minutes, until toasty :)

Store in an air tight container.


These little goobers are delicious, kind of like a cross between popcorn and sunflower seeds. Mmmm, fall :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How to be amazing...

...without exerting too much energy :)

This is one of those recipes where you can tell people, 'Oh, I'll make thisandsuch' and they'll get this face like 'WOW' and then you show up with your whatever and everyone complements you out the whazoo and you really didn't have to do anything spectacular. I love recipes like that.

In this case, your 'thisandsuch' is LASAGNA and everyone really will love you because, seriously, who doesn't love good lasagna?

Overnight/Lazy-Day Lasagna

1 lb. mild Italian sausage or ground beef (I always use moo-meat over oink-meat)
1 30 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (Since more is better, don't be afraid to buy the 2lb. 13oz. jar. It'll work out just fine. I promise.)
1 c. water
1 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
2 T. fresh chives (optional...aka, I never use fresh chives)
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 egg
8 oz. uncooked lasagna noodles
1 16 oz. pkg. mozzarella cheese (I always go with shredded)



Brown meat in large skillet over medium-high heat; drain well. Add spaghetti sauce and water; blend well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

In medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, chives, oregano, and egg; mix well. In bottom of ungreased 9" x 13" baking dish (or lasagna pan if you're all fancy), spread 1 1/2 c. meat sauce; top with half the noodles, half the ricotta cheese mixture, and half the mozzarella cheese. Repeat noodles/ricotta stuff/mozzarella. Top with remaining meat sauce.

**Cover. Refrigerate overnight (at least 12 hours).**

Heat oven to 350*. Uncover baking dish. Bake 50-60 minutes or until casserole is bubbly. Cover (I use aluminum foil) and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. (Optional: top with Parmesan cheese!) Makes ~12 servings.

I'll post pictures later, if there's any lasagna left when I remember :)