Friday, January 20, 2012

Making Chili!

Well, the inevitable has happened. We finally got a huge snowstorm. Something like 6-8 inches. I can't say I'm shocked. I do live in Iowa and it's winter. It is part of the climate. However, every time we get a snow storm people seem surprised! I like snow. I think it's pretty. My husband, not so much. I think that is because he is the person who shovels everything. I kind of understand his distaste for snow because of that reason. That is why I made a huge pot of chili while he shoveled.

My father in law, Dan, makes excellent chili. Until Pat and I started dating, I had never made it before.  My first time actually was for a Chili Cook Off back when I worked at NICC. I winged Dan's recipe and was surprised how good it turned fact, I won the cook off! {This is where Queen sings, "we are the champions"} Just Kidding! 

Every time I make chili I wing it. I never come with a list to the store. There are some main ingredients I always remember, and others that I think might work well. The chili we make now is kind of a mix of Dan's and kind of our own. It is one of the few recipes I am proud to say we "created" and isn't from a recipe book.

Our Chili Recipe

1 lb ground beef
1 1 lb stew meat (the *secret ingredient*)
32 oz can of tomato sauce
32 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chili beans, in sauce
1 can Mexican corn
1 can diced tomatoes
green pepper, chopped
red onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed
3-4 tbs of chili powder seasoning
salt & pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes

1. Brown the ground beef & steak w/ the peppers, onions and garlic. Season with salt & pepper. Drain grease.
2. Add remaining ingredients.
3. Simmer on medium until the juices start to bubble up a bit and simmer on low for at least 2 hours.
4. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream and green onions. Enjoy!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mixed Berry Muffins

Since I'm off work today, I decided to make muffins with Baileigh. My co-worker, Angie, is an amazing cook/baker and has a family cookbook that she and her mom & sister collaborated in. One of the recipes in the book is for Yogurt Muffins. The recipe is actually from an old, little shop in Dubuque called Annie's Lil' Bits. The owners retired a few years ago, but published several of their recipes. One of the things it was famous for was these yogurt muffins. I have never made them before, but as I was browsing Angie's cookbook, I saw she had included the recipe from Annie's. Below is the recipe & a few pictures of my delicious muffins.

Yogurt Muffins (Annie's Lil' Bits)
1 c. butter, melted
2 c. vanilla yogurt
1 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 egg whites
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
4 c. flour
2 cups any fruit (berries, bananas, peaches, etc.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Blend together all wet ingredients and sugar.  Blend together all dry ingredients. Mix wet and dry mixtures together. Add the fruit. Top with cinnamon sugar, white sugar or brown sugar, depending on the fruit.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes about 24 regular muffins or 12 jumbo muffins.

Heres the muffins before they hit the oven! I used frozen mixed berries (thawed)

Mmm, just out of the oven! The juices from the berries started to give the muffins a blueish color...but they still taste great!

Mmm berry muffins! Perfect treat for this monday off work! Thanks Angie for sharing your families cookbook!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pancake Saturday

Baileigh and I have started a tradition, Pancake saturday. Pat works on Saturdays and A few months ago Baileigh and I started making pancakes. I didn't think much of it at first, but now on any day that Baileigh doesn't go to "school", she requests. Like this morning, she came in our room at 7:15 requesting pancakes & sausage. 

I hate to admit, but I use a pre-made pancake mix, Krusteaz Honey Wheat Pancake Mix. Its easy because it only require water. This is nice because I don,t have to worry if we have milk or eggs on hand. Of course we do add two special ingredients to the mix, cinnamon and vanilla! My college roommate, Isabelle, taught me that trick. She always made the best pancakes! 

We have been making turkey sausage lately too. The brands vary, usually whatever I find at the store. Our breakfast wouldn't be complete without coffee for me and milk or juice for the B.

B loves pancake Saturday. Today she helped me. We made Mickey Mouse pancakes (for her) and chocolate chip pancakes (for me!) This is a tradition I hope we can keep for a long time! Do you and your families have any traditions?

Too ambitious?

I started this blog officially 3 years ago. In three years I think i've posted 17 times? Give or take. My intentions were good. I wanted to share crafts, recipes and other items in my life. Well, life got in the way, as it should. In the past three years many things have happened, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I keep coming back to this blog and thinking to myself, "Okay Colleen, keep up with it this time." Like I said before, my intentions are always good, but I forget how busy I am and I never seem to post as often as I'd like. I don't really have a "following" but that is okay by me. This blog is a place that I'm going to post recipes and other things I'd like to share, as time allows. Between work, being a mom & wife, keeping the house together & making memories with my family, I stay busy, but I'd like to be able to use this blog as a place to stay creative.

Welcome to live {love} taste!