Thursday, February 28, 2013

52 Soups/Salads in 2013

On a scale of 1 - 5, we rated Soup #10 Chuck's Chili - 4.25

We usually use McCormick's Chili Seasoning, but used Williams Chili Seasoning in this chili. We much prefer the McCormick's. This was a good chili on a cold winter's day!

Chuck's Chili
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. ground chuck (can use cubed pork, chicken, turkey, etc.)
2 medium onions, diced
2 cups green peppers, diced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 - 16 oz. cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups frozen tomatoes, chopped or 2 - 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice
1 bottle dark Mexican beer
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 - 10.75 oz. can tomato puree
2 T. honey
1 t. Mexican oregano
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. Aussie pepper mix
2 T. McCormick's Chili Seasoning
1 T. Pensey's medium hot chili powder
1 T. beef base
1/2 t. ground cumin

Brown meat and drain fat (if necessary), put aside.

Saute onions and green peppers until tender. Add garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato puree, beans, meat, honey and beer. Add seasonings and simmer for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. If you prefer it hotter, add Frank's Hot Sauce. If the bottom of the soup pot develops holes, you've used too much.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feathered Friends

Because of the recent snowstorms, we've been stocking our bird feeders. Here are a few of our feathered friends. . .

 Mr. Cardinal

Mrs. Cardinal

 Dark-eyed Junco

Great Blue Heron (aka Harold the Heron)

 Common Flicker
 Black Crested Titmouse (aka Cutie Pie)

Red-bellied Woodpecker

 Black-capped chickadee

 And our very favorite. . .
Downey Woodpecker (maybe it should be Downie Woodpecker)

Can't wait for Spring!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

52 Soups/Salads in 2013

On a scale of 1 - 5, we rated Soup #9 New England Clam Chowder - 4.50

We loved, loved, loved this soup! The only change we'll make next time is to drain the liquid from the canned clams. We felt this made it slightly too salty. We also added a little Old Bay Seasoning. Did we say we loved this chowder?

New England Clam Chowder
(Recipe from Taste of Home)

4 strips of bacon
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup water
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
3 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning (not in original recipe, but we added)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided
2 cans (6 1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, undrained (we used 4 cans of clams but will drain them next time and add extra clam juice)

In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; set aside. Saute celery and onion in the drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, water, clam juice, bouillon, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in clams and remaining  half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Crumble the reserved bacon; sprinkle over each serving.


Song that made Chuck smile today

I heard this while I was making bread this morning. Thanks, Megan. . .miss you and Nick!

"I'm Gonna Be a Wheel Someday" by Bobby Mitchell


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

52 Soups/Salads in 2013

On a scale of 1 - 5, we rated Salad #8 Docks Coleslaw - 4.20

We liked this coleslaw, however, we'll add less caraway seeds next time. It was an excellent complement to the panko-crusted baked fish and Chuck's homemade roll.

Docks Coleslaw
(Recipe from The Essential New York Times Cookbook)

1/2 green apple, peeled and cored
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 1/2 Tb. sugar
1 t. celery seeds
1 t. caraway seeds
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. onion powder
1 1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 medium green cabbage (about 2 1/2 pounds), quartered, cored, and very finely sliced
1 1/2 c. shredded red cabbage
1 carrot, peeled and shredded

Combine the apple, bell pepper, and celery in a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and add the vinegar, sugar, celery seeds, caraway seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir in the mayonnaise and buttermilk, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Combine the cabbages and carrot in a bowl, add half the dressing and toss. Add more dressing to taste. (The slaw is best if refrigerated for at least 1 hour before serving.) This slaw holds up well for 3 days. If you're not cooking for 12, you can halve the recipe.