With a 16th birthday and house remodeling taking up most of my time I have been absent from the blog for too long. Though luckily during all the remodeling I have been working on smaller projects too like DIY photography boards for my food photography. Plus, a list of recipes, including chili mac, that would look delicious here on the blog. It also helps if the family likes them.
Five people in one house can make it difficult to choose a recipe that everyone will try or enjoys. My oldest son does not like cheese. There is a few dishes that he will eat “certain” cheeses with like mozzarella. On the other hand, my daughter eats cheese but is not the biggest fan. My middle son, myself, and the other half all enjoy plenty of different cheeses. This is just a tiny dilemma since many dishes have cheese but it is super easy to remove it. Below is one dish I have found that the entire family will eat that does not come straight from mixing boxed food with canned food.
Mmm… Good comfort food. Chili Mac!
Hearty meat, fresh spices, and comfort pasta make this dish so appeasing not only to adults but children too. Top it with cheese and onions for even more flavor. My son likes to add sour cream but I like mine with cheese and red onion. For extra heat the other half adds cayenne pepper over his after it is served.
Back to the DIY photography boards. Tell me these boards are not just super pretty? I just love playing with colors and leaving some natural. I am thinking about a post on how to make DIY photography boards with cheap acrylic paint, Elmer’s glue, and plywood. Just curious if any of my readers would be interesting in reading a detailed post about this?
Here’s the recipe for Chili Mac :)
This plnena paprika polevka also know as stuffed pepper soup has been lurking in my folder for about two weeks now. I held off on it to finish the boards to photograph it on and once I finally photographed it I realized I left thick soup all along the edge and it looks horrible; well to me it looks horrible. The plan to remake the soup continued to be put off since the weather is considerably hot here for this time of year. It probably just best to go ahead and share it. If we end up with another cold and rainy day I can always remake the soup and get some gorgeous shots.
Czechs generally make stuffed bell peppers a bit different then Italians do. My other half and I figured that out the first time we decided to make stuffed peppers together. He is full blooded Czech and well I’m Italian with other heritage but more prone to the Italian as I was raised with that cuisine and values. Czech stuffed peppers are simmered on a stove with paprika, rice, and ground beef while Italian stuffed pepper are baked in the oven without paprika and a small amount of tomato sauce. This stuffed pepper soup is a rendition of Czech stuffed peppers turned inside out to make a soup. Love Czech stuffed peppers with dumplings also known as knedliky. We just had garlic bread at the time but it would have been nice to pair them with this soup.
The board turned out nice in the photograph. I am working on several others and thinking about a DIY post. Anyone that would be interested? The boards I am working on are going to be chalkboard, crackled, and stained. Most of them will be painted with basic cheap acrylic paints you can pick up at any hobby store. Hoping to get the rest of them cut tonight so I can work on them over the next few days. Also in some serious need for heavy poster board. Looks like another run to the Dollar Tree.
And now I am off to cut those boards… well make the other half do it while I eat fresh tortillas with salsa and butter. Guilty pleasure!
Yes, I love pie! Oddly enough I prefer cherry or meat pies. These Shepherd’s Hand Pies feature shepherd’s pie in a handmade pie crust. The can be made with beef, chicken or just vegetarian. Creativity with this recipe is your friends. The more intricate the ingredients the richer the flavors. I make these with beef and onion as the flavors just fall together. For vegetarians mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, and corn make a pie. For the gravy just use cooked carrots and blend them in a blender with a bit of heavy whipping cream. They make a fantastic gravy that is full of color and nutrients. If your a chicken fan you can do chicken with a chicken gravy and matching vegetables. If you really want to jump out of the box you can use crawfish or crab meat to make a seafood rendition.
Hand pies are delicious fresh or they can be frozen to heat up later on another occasion. This makes them perfect for movie night or for weeknight TV shows you don’t want to miss; such as Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Haven, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time. Hmm… did I leave one out? Oh! Of course our beloved The Walking Dead. Do have to say I have been waiting for them to kill off the annoying blonde and the governor. Just not a fan of nut jobs.
Speaking of Vampire Diaries, is anyone else tired of the poor Elena thing? I am. Let’s get on with it. Damon and Elena should be together. Let Tyler hook up with the wolf chic from Secret Circle, and the judgmental Stefan and Caroline should end up together. Maybe spin off some weird love relationship with Klaus and Bonnie as they will both soon hate the new professor in town.
Anywho! Back to the pies.
Yay! The blog and I have made it two years. Though, I am a few days late on this post due to my birthday and the cold front that swept in and made everything so dark that there would be no way to get one single natural light photograph. At least the sun is back out and my son and I can have some fun photographing our favorite lunch container by Frego!
Today, for the blogiversary, I am giving away one Frego lunch container! This beast is the guru of all lunch containers. One of my very personal favorites! Here is a video to tell you why it is my favorite with all the super cool features this container comes with. We’ve used this container over and over and it works very well in the microwave and the oven. It’s sturdy and the double seal is fantastic; no leaks!
I wanted to share a recipe that I use to put in my Frego container. It’s an older recipe on the blog but one of my absolute favorites when the Autumn air comes rolling in.
For the giveaway just follow instructions in the Rafflecopter below.
*Disclosure: I was given two containers from Frego to review. I was not reimbursed for writing this post and all opinions expressed are my own.
After months of searching and preparing to make a decent Chili Con Carne (sauce/chili) I finally decided to give it a shot. I wanted the taste to be similar to what Taco Cabana uses on their enchiladas and what Sonic uses on their frito pie. Well folks, I have to admit my family said it tastes just like Sonic’s frito pie which is a plus; however, they never eat the enchiladas at Taco Cabana so that was up to my taste buds and it is pretty close.
On another note, who’s planning on seeing Ice Age this weekend? My daughter and I are thinking of going Friday morning. I love Diego! Who’s your favorite character? My daughter says I’m five. Oh well! She’s twelve and still wants to see it, so I will be five and take her
If you like it with more heat then just add more cayenne and chili powder; just reverse it for less heat.
What a fun week this was! Took my daughter to go see Hot Chelle Rae in concert and she got a chance to meet them. We delivered them 24 cupcakes that they enjoyed. More can be read about that at Muusat with a complete story including a recipe for the cupcakes and pictures.
This is a recipe I use to make corn dogs with out all the creepy lurky ingredients of those frozen dogs you buy at the store. What I truly love about making these from scratch is that you can seriously add any extras you would like to the batter. I prefer jalapenos and cheese. You could add bacon, corn, cheese, jalapenos, blueberries, and strawberries. Really the sky is the limit!
Stop buying store bought junk and try the endless possibilities at home. You can even make them mini corn dogs. Just cut up your dogs before adding them to the batter. Homemade corn dogs are the bomb diggity!
This will give you an idea of how thick your batter should be.
Don’t forget to dry those dogs.
You can fry them in a fryer or just use a pan. I prefer the pan as it uses less oil and it is definitely budget friendly.
I wish had a picture of my final project but alas the sun was going down as I was cooking these bad boys and I couldn’t get a decent picture. Next time I make some I will be sure to add the finished product picture here.
Recipe adapted from Bakingdom
I love participating in the Fall Fest FN Dish for Food Network. Don’t forget to take a moment and stop by the other links below.
Shepherd’s pie is a traditional dinner in my home in the month of October. Not only are the potatoes in season but the weather is suited for it. Just two days ago our temperatures dropped here. I get excited when the temps drop because I love to cook in colder weather and generally I just think food is more appealing the Fall and Winter months. People usually want to eat less in the hot Summer months. So without further ado, I give you my rendition of Shepherd’s pie.
Check out these other great recipes for potatoes at the FN Dish – Food Network.
Taste With The Eyes: Poached Salmon, Lobster Mash, Lentil Gumbo “Gravy”
And Love It Too: Twice Baked Potato – Paleo Style
What’s Gaby Cooking: Smashed Potatoes
From My Corner of Saratoga: Potato Canapes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Chorizo and Potato Tacos
Cooking Channel: Cozy Up With In Season Potatoes
FN Dish: Best Potato Casserole Recipes
Cooking With Elise: The Irish Boxty
CIA Dropout: Potato and Leek Soup
The Sensitive Epicure: Potatoes Anna With Fresh Thyme and Truffle Salt
Glory Foods: Chicken Smashed Potatoes
Daily*Dishin: Creamy Loaded Potato Casserole
Virtually Vegan Mama: Baked Cinnamon Spiced Sweet Potato Fries
I really love twitter but it is definitely bad to look at midday, when you are hungry, and follow tons of foodies. The issue this morning was I saw gravy and then from that point I wanted chicken fried chicken with white pepper gravy. Then I remembered there was something I was craving a few days ago and it was a Philly! Here’s the deal, chicken fried chicken is really not a challenge for me to make. I make fried everything, except fried butter (that’s just wrong on so many levels). So the Philly won in the wars of what to cook and blog. The largest challenge of a Philly Cheese Steak is the meat. Problem is that you need sliced rib eye from a boneless rib eye. Not that hard you would think but some meat departments do not have a deli slicer in the back near the raw meat. I got lucky after calling around to three places, not only found someone who could cut the meat for the Philly but also cooked a Philly themselves at home. The process is pretty easy once you find someone that will cut it for you. If you do not have a griddle then I highly suggest you get one. This can be cooked in a iron skillet but the temperature does not stay even in a skillet versus an electric griddle. Once you have the griddle (or iron skillet) and your meat then follow these simple steps below. Remember no Philly is better then the one you create yourself. Why? Cause you can have anything you want on it!
Do not forget mise en place!
Get the griddle nice and hot with a tad of olive oil and two spatulas.
Do not fry any longer then 8 minutes. Just cook till you see no red and it is lightly browned. Cooking too long will make the meat tough. And after a few minutes you should have something that looks like this.
Gosh, the aroma! I just love cooking Italian Goulash because of the aroma. It is seriously intoxicating. I generally only make it in the Fall and Winter but I thought why not, it is a great stove top recipe, and with the Texas heat; I definitely do not want to run the oven. This recipe is adapted from my Grandmother Toni’s goulash recipe. I grew up eating this yummy dish; however, she isn’t a spice queen like me. So, I decided to try and perfect her recipe and add a little me into it. And when I say me, I mean orange! I have the greatest new obsession with orange bell peppers; not habaneros. I just want to add them to everything but never know what to add them to. While preparing for the goulash I realized all I had was the orange peppers and usually I use green peppers. The orange peppers were fantastic and super tasty! Cooked up sweet and added a great flavor and color to the dish. Enjoy my comfort food!
With the heat wave stretching across all of the states and from what I hear from my friend Jen, even Canada is warmer then usual; I thought it would be great to post a simple stove top recipe. Slaving over the stove after being in the Summer heat is just not my forte! So, I brought back a recipe we used to make when the kids were little. However, I used to make it with baked tortillas over foil balls in the oven. This time I wanted to actually fry the tortillas, since my frying skills are better, and to make mini taco salads. Perfect for small dinners in the hot Summer heat or a super fun appetizer for a house party!