Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cowboy Chili

To me, chili is the perfect food. It's good in the summer. It's good in the winter. That right there is enough to make me love it.

 I've been making it this way though for the past year or two.

Take one large yellow onion and on green bell pepper and chop them up.

Brown 1lb of ground beef.

Add the pepper and onion. Cook until the pepper and onion soften a bit.

Add some BBQ seasoning...about 2tsp or so. I use this stuff because it's amaaaaaazing.

A big ol' can of chili beans.

Mix it all together and it should look something like this:

Next, add some baked beans. I used 2 cans.

Tomatoes. You can used crushed or diced.

Here's the good stuff. Beer. Add about 2/3 of a bottle. Or the whole thing. Whatever floats your boat.

Sprinkle in about 1/2 of a packet of chili seasoning. I only add half because the chili beans are already seasoned.

Then....BBQ sauce. I use a generous 1/2 cup. Hickory style.

And that's pretty much it. You can make this an hour before serving or 6 hours before serving.  The longer it simmers the better it tastes though.

Instead of serving it with the traditional saltines and cheddar, I use Ritz crackers and shredded Jack cheese. It's great with a plop of sour cream mixed in as well.

Good stuff.
As for leftovers, mix it with a box of mac & cheese
( I love the thick and creamy shells) and you're left with a rockin' chili mac.

The (almost) Perfect BLT

I love BLT's. They're easy. They taste AMAZING. They're cheap.

So why do I say that these are almost perfect? Because I couldn't find a good avocado at the store to save my life. An avocado is (in my opinion) a necessity to complete a good BLT. But sadly I was without such goodness. They still rocked though.

OK. I'm not even going to show the ingredients because....well because you pretty much already know what these bad boys consist of.

First, toast up a nice fat sandwich roll. Just butter it up and throw it on the griddle for a few minutes.

Let it cool and then spread on some mayo.

Bacon. Bacon. Bacon.



Cheddar cheese. If you've never had a BLT with some cheddar, do it. Now.
I promise you won't regret it.

This is where I'd normally add the avocado...but, yeah. Not so much this time.

So that's it. Easy, easy, easy.

Soooo satisfying.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Swedish-ish Meatballs

When I was a kid, meatballs used to make me gag. Why? I have no idea because I think meatballs are wonderful little spheres of goodness.

This is how I make 'em.

1lb ground beef, 1 med onion, 1/4 cup of milk, 1/2 cup (approx) plain bread crumbs, 1 egg, fresh parsley, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground mustard, ground black pepper 

Whisk together the eggs & milk.

Chop up the onion.

Add them to the milk/egg mixture.

Next, chop up the parsley.

Toss it in the bowl. Then add the ground mustard, nutmeg & pepper.

Add the bread crumbs.

Add the meat.

Mix it all together.

Form the meat into balls. I used my 3 Tbsp scoop.

Toss them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.

How good does THIS look?

OK, so Swedish meatballs are traditionally serves over noodles, but I'm a rebel.  I just made some white rice. And then I whipped up some ghetto gravy...which is actually SO SO SO good.

This stuff:

So, I serve it all up like this and it is really really good. Really good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Keilbasa & Zataran' peas & carrots.

I LOVE Kielbasa. It's so simple to make and it is so dang good. It's great for a quick ghetto meal. This is by far one of my favorites & it costs all of about 5 bucks to make.

All you do is slice up a kielbasa sausage & toss it around a skillet for a few minutes over med-high heat. Then you dump in the contents of a box of Zataran's Black Beans & Rice (Along with some water and oil).  Let it simmer for 25 minutes and you're done.

So easy.

So delicious.

Yay for not having to think much while preparing a meal!

Chicken Cordon Bleu-ish Dish

My husband loves Chicken Cordon Bleu. LOVES IT. When we got married he insisted that I learn how to make his mom's recipe because it was the best he'd ever had. Cool, right? Wrong. I could barely boil water without catching something on fire let alone master a dish as well as one's mother. It was a bad idea.

So, 3 months after I became the proud Mrs P, his birthday arrived. We had never spent a birthday together at that point. We had only met 10 months engaged after 4 months, married 3 months later. We work's how we roll.  Anywho, I was really stoked to master my mother-in-law's famous Chicken Cordon Bleu for his birthday meal. I followed directions perfectly, made a HUGE disaster in the kitchen, and served up what appeared to be a beautiful dish.

I'm not really certain what happened between my preparing the dish and eating it, but I do know that we both ended up with food poisoning. I poisoned my new husband with the first birthday meal I had ever prepared for him. He was so lucky to have me as his wife, don't you think?  I have since improved, but he has yet to let me live that down.

OK, so...six years later and I'm STILL trying to come up with a Chicken Cordon Bleu that he'll eat. I think I may have mastered it. Finally.

Here's what I did.


4 chicken breasts (pounded until they were practically transparent), a cheapie pkg of thinly sliced ham, butter, flour (1/4cup), salt, pepper, olive oil, milk, Farfale pasta, 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese & fresh parsley.

Oh, and some white wine. Whichever you like. I've been liking Fish Eye lately. It's cheap...and it's yummy. And it's boxed. My sister-in-law tells me that I'm turning into my 80-something year old grandfather because I drink boxed wine. She still loves me though.

For this recipe I used my lovely Fish Eye Chardonnay. About a cup.

OK, so I took my flattened out chicken breast...

...layed some slices of ham on it.

 Then I rolled it up.

Secure it with a toothpick. 

In a skillet, heat up about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter.

Season the chicken (S&P) and place it in the skillet.

I cooked mine for about 6 minutes on each side. They should look something like this.

I then removed them from the pan and put them in a 350 degree oven while I made the sauce.

Keep all the chicken goodness in the pan, add a little more butter & some flour (I used just under 1/4cup) to make a roux.

Add some milk..I used 2 cups.

Then add the Swiss cheese.

Add some chopped fresh parsley.

And now the vino....

Let it simmer for about 5 minutes or so. S&P to taste.
OK, while I was making the sauce I also cooked up the pasta.

Take the chicken out of the oven and slice it up. Serve it next to the pasta and drizzle the Swiss cheese sauce over both. I love brussel sprouts, so I had those on the side.

And here it is!

It was delightful! Not your standard Chicken Cordon Bleu, but I'd say it's a pretty good version of the classic. Good stuff!