Tuesday, January 26, 2010

All-American Chili

This recipe comes from my mom who is an amazing cook, the best I know! Over the holidays we had a bunch of leftovers in the fridge and my mom (out of the blue) came up with an awesome casserole using practically everything in the fridge...who does that? Seriously! Anyway, this is Jason and I's favorite chili recipe and we hope you like it too!

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 4 oz. can diced green chilis
2 T. chili powder
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. ground cumin
3 T. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 bay leaves
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice
2 15 oz. cans kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup water

Brown ground beef in skillet adding onion, green bell pepper, and garlic halfway through cooking. When beef is completely browned, put in a large crock pot with all remaining ingredients. Cook on Hi or 4 hours or Low 8-9 hours. Before serving discard bay leaves. Ladle chili into individual bowls. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

This recipe can be made in a large stock pot on the stove top. After browning ground beef with onion, green bell pepper, and garlic, put in a large stock pot with all remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Uncover and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard bay leaves and serve.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Kookaburra dipped licorice

I have a serious addiction to these. And that's all I have to say about that!

Red Kookaburra licorice
White chocolate, for melting
Sprinkles, for garnishing

1. Line baking sheets with wax paper.

2. Slowly melt white chocolate over low heat. (I usually melt mine in the microwave in 20-30 sec. intervals). 3. Dip licorice pieces into chocolate and set on baking sheet. Garnish with sprinkles. Cool until chocolate has dried.


1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup light Karo syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla.

Combine sugars, syrup, butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a boil and slowly add sweetened condensed milk; constantly stirring. Bring to a soft ball stage. Take pan off heat and add vanilla. Pour into a buttered 9 x 13 glass baking dish. Cool and cut.

Pecan Caramels

2 tsp. plus 1 cup butter, divided
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1 /4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup dark corn syrup
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
2 lbs. chopped pecans
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil; grease the foil with 2 tsp. butter and set aside.

2. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugars, corn syrup, 1 cup cream and the remaining butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil. Slowly stir in the remaining cream. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 245 degrees (firm-ball stage).

3. Remove from the heat; stir in pecans and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan (do not scrape saucepan). Let stand until firm. Using foil, lift candy out of pan. Discard foil; cut candy into 1 inch squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper; twist ends.

Homemade Marshmallows

2 tsp. butter
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup cold water, divided
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract

Optional Toppings: melted chocolate, hot fudge and/or caramel ice cream toppings

Optional garnishes: baking cocoa, confectioners' sugar, crushed candies, chopped nuts, colored sugars and/or sprinkles.

1. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil and grease the foil with butter; set aside.

2. In a large metal bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and remaining water. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees (soft ball stage).

3. Remove from the heat and gradually add to gelatin. Beat on high speed until mixture is thick and the volume is doubled, about 15 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Spread into prepared pan. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight.

4. Using foil, lift marshmallows out of pan. With a knife or pizza cutter coated with cooking spray, cut into 1-in. squares. Dip or drizzle marshmallows with toppings if desired; coat with garnishes as desired. Roll other marshmallows in the garnishes of your choice. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place.

Creamy Chocolate Fudge

1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Line an 8x8 inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla.

4. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.