Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ryder's Turkey Chili

Growing up we always had chili cheese dogs & queso on Halloween.  I'm continuing the tradition, but trying to make it a little healthier! :)

  • 10 to 12 dried pasilla chile peppers
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 1/2 jalapeno peppers, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 9 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 small red onions, diced
  • 3 pounds coarsely ground turkey (thigh and breast meat)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups canned pinto beans with liquid
  • 3 cups canned kidney beans with liquid
  • 2 cups canned black beans with liquid
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
Rehydrate the pasilla peppers in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, or until softened; drain. Remove the stems and seeds; dice the peppers.

Warm the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the pasillas, bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic and onions and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add the turkey and gently stir, trying not to break up the meat too much; cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and sauce, stir for 4 minutes, then add the chicken broth. Add the granulated onion and garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Stir in the beans and their liquid, lower the heat and cook, uncovered, for at least 1 hour. Garnish with shredded cheddar.

Source: Guy Fieri

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ghost Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Unsalted butter
  • Pure maple syrup
  • chocolate chips for eyes
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, milk, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones, mixing only until combined.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it bubbles. Ladle the pancake batter into the pan to make 3 or 4 pancakes.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until bubbles appear on top and the underside is nicely browned. Add chocolate chips for the eyes then flip the pancakes and then cook for another minute until browned. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel, add more butter to the pan, and continue cooking pancakes until all the batter is used. Serve with butter and maple syrup.

Adapted recipe based on original recipe by Ina Garten (thanks, Holly!).


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fennel and Celery Slaw

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated shallot
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped parsley tops
  • 4 ribs celery and leafy tops, very thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium bulbs fennel, very thinly sliced, plus a handful of fronds, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Toasted pistachios, chopped, to garnish
Combine the honey, vinegar and shallot with the lemon juice and whisk in the EVOO. Add the parsley, celery and fennel and toss to coat and combine. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a platter and top with the toasted nuts.

Recipe by Rachael Ray

Make Ahead Sunday: Sausage and Butternut Rigatoni


  • 1 butternut squash, cut in half and roast at 350 for 1 hour - scoop out seeds - you need 1 1/2 cups of the flesh, reserve remainder for another use
  • 1 pound rigatoni with lines
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups white cheddar
  • 1/2 cup chopped tuscan kale
Defrost the squash puree in a microwave and place in a strainer to drain.

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water to al dente.

Meanwhile, add the sausage to a skillet, crumble and brown. Add the garlic, onions and thyme and cook until tender, 5-6 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine.

Pre-heat the broiler with a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and thicken to coat a spoon. Stir in the butternut squash, kale and bring the sauce back to a bubble and melt in half of the cheddar.

Toss the pasta, sauce and sausage to combine. Top with remaining cheese and broil to brown, 1-2 minutes.
Adapted based on original recipe by Rachel Ray

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Salmon with Dill Pesto

Dill Pesto
1 cup fresh dill
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Combine everything except olive oil and cheese in food processes and pulse to combine.  Slowly stream in olive oil while pulsing.  When fully combined, stir in cheese. Freezes wonderfully and is great over any kind of fish!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Make Ahead Sunday: Beef Stroganoff

2 1/2 lb filet mignon, thinly sliced
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 Tbsp cognac or sherry
2 cups beef broth
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf italian parsley
1 lb wide egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup reserved pasta water

Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat.  Season meat with salt and pepper.  Sear meat in batches.  Do not turn until meat develops deep crust and moves easily.  Sear on other side then set aside.  Saute shallots in pan drippings.  When softened, add cognac or sherry and reduce by half.  Then add broth and simmer over medium heat until reduced by half.  Add cream, mustard and sour cream and simmer 3-4 minutes.  Check seasoning and fold in pasta, butter and herbs.  Stir to combine and add pasta water if needed to loosen sauce.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pumpkin Patch!


Roasted Fall Veggies

Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash cubed
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Combine all and pour onto baking dish. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

Parmesan Broccoli
3-4 cups chopped broccoli
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp grated parmesan
Combine all and pour onto baking dish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fred & Wilma

I saw something similar to these on Etsy and instead of paying a pretty penny, I decided to try my hand a costume making. They certainly aren't high quality, but should hold up for a few parties and one night of trick or treating!  For the price of $20 + one late night, I'd say it was worth the savings.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Simple Fettucini with Sausage & Kale


  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 1 pound spicy italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large bunch kale, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until al dente; drain. In large skillet, cook sausage over medium-low until browned, about 7 minutes. Add 12 cup water and cream; simmer until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Add kale; toss until wilted. Remove from heat; toss with pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan.
Brown sausage.  I like to do it until the edges are crispy. Then add in half cup water or stock and cream.  Simmer for 5-7 minutes then add kale, pasta and cheese.  Season with salt and pepper then toss and serve.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Best Pizza Sauce Ever!

If you ever see these tomatoes at the grocery store, buy them.  Buy lots of them!  They are the freshest, richest tomatoes I have ever tasted out of a can (or box in this case).  The deep flavor makes this simple sauce shine!  Serve with this crust.


1 box Pomi strained tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil for about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and let simmer about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Make Ahead Sunday: Bacon, Tomato & White Bean Soup


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 pound smoky bacon, chopped
  • 2 red or white onions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 Fresno chili pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can San Marzano tomatoes (28-32 ounces)
  • 2 cups tomato puree or passata
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can cannellini (white kidney) beans (15 ounces), drained
  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese, for sprinkling
  • Charred bread, such as ciabatta (rubbed with garlic, drizzled with with oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper), for dipping
In a medium size Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat.
Add the onions, garlic, chili pepper, bay leaves, thyme, a little salt and lots of pepper. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato puree and chicken stock, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Stir in the beans and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Serve the soup in shallow bowls. Top with the cooked bacon, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with the cheese. I also topped with a little basil pesto.  Serve with the bread for dipping.

Source: Rachael Ray Magazine

Friday, October 5, 2012

Chicken Cakes with Chipolte Aioli


  • Meat of 1 rotisserie chicken, about 3 cups shredded
  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapeno, finely chopped
  • 11/2  tablespoons pickled jalapeno juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
  • 1 cup shredded potato
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Chipotle Aioli, recipe follows
  • 1 avocado, sliced - for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients except for the aioli, oil and avocado.  Form into 12 patties.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and place the fritters in the pan. Cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place on a baking dish lined with cooking spray and heat through in the oven - about 12 minutes. 

Chipotle Aioli


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 chipotle pepper  (seeds removed) + 1 tsp adobo sauce

 Puree and serve.
Adapted based on a recipe by Savoy Cafe and Deli

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween: Kid Art Projects

Monday, October 1, 2012

Salisbury Steak & Potatoes with Gruyere and Dijon


  • olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • Salt and coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/3-1/2 cup milk
  • About 1 2/3 pounds ground sirloin
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
Place a drizzle of olive oil  in a skillet over medium heat and melt the butter into the oil. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, thyme and add the bay leaf. Caramelize the onions until very soft and sweet and light golden in color, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, soak the breadreadcrumbs in milk then add the egg, meat, worcestershire and grated onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and combine. Form into 6 (1-inch thick) oval loaves. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the loaves and cook until cooked through, about 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Transfer the meat to a plate.
Sprinkle the flour over the caramelized onions, stir 1 minute. Deglaze the pan you cooked the meat in with the wine and pour into the onions. Add the beef stock and thicken a moment. Serve the gravy over the Salisbury steaks.

Potatoes with Gruyere and Dijon


  • 2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup milk or half-n-half
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the hot pot. Mash with the milk or half-n-half. Stir in the cheese and mustard and combine, and then season with salt and pepper.

Adapted based on recipes by Rachael Ray