Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cincinnati Chili

My first time making chili, so I thought it went over pretty well.


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 2 cans (16 oz) tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 1/2 oz) beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 square (1/2 oz) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 package (16 oz) spaghetti or linguine, cooked as label directs
  • In nonreactive 5-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to small bowl; set aside. Add garlic to Dutch oven; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer to bowl with onions.
  • In same Dutch oven, cook ground beef over high heat, breaking up meat with side of spoon, until meat is browned. Discard fat. Stir in chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, oregano, and ground red pepper; cook 1 minute longer.
  • Add tomatoes with their juice to Dutch oven, breaking them up with side of spoon. Stir in broth, water , chocolate, browned beef, and onion-garlic mixture; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2 hours and 30 minutes. Remove cover and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes longer.
  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs. Drain. Serve chili over pasta.
  • Makes 8 main-dish servings.
My Take

It turned out pretty good. I didn't really get to taste it, as by the time it was done, it was close to midnight. Also, it wasn't as watery as I was expecting it to be. Maybe that's because I had to stop cooking it and then start cooking it again. Probably not a good idea, but it kinda had to be done.

On a note of ingredients, I only used one onion, and just used regular ground beef. I think those were the only changes I made.

I think next time I make it, I may add kidney beans, 'cause Dylan apparently thinks that you need kidney beans in your chili to make it chili. Shouldn't be that big of a deal, right?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicken Nuggets/Strips

These are pretty quick and easy to make. I'm sure if you have kids, they'll love it too.


  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 3 1/2 cups cornflakes, crushed
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into nuggets/strips
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Whisk the egg and milk together in a small mixing bowl. Place cornflakes in a plastic bag.
  • Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture, then shake with cornflakes to coat.
  • Put coated chicken on baking sheet. 
  • Carefully place baking pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Carefully remove the baking pan from oven.
  • Serve
My Take
I love eating these things with honey or BBQ sauce. Dylan likes eating them with mayo.

Also, what I  do to save time, is I buy the boneless, skinless chicken tenders. They're already pre-cut into strips, so I don't have to mess with that. I've never actually made them into nuggets, as Dylan and I prefer them as strips. But, I guess if you have younger kids, nuggets would be much easier to eat. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

No Update this Week

I know this is kind of late to be posting this, but no new recipe this week. One of my dear friends from high school passed away quite suddenly on Sunday, January 9th. This whole week has been really hard on me, and as the funeral was yesterday, I really don't feel like cooking.

I am planning on trying out a new recipe next week, just don't know what yet.

See ya'll in the kitchen.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tamale Pie

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to try one new recipe a week. Which means, my loyal readers, you get a new recipe once a week. I'll also throw some of my tried-and-true recipes in there for good measure. This week, you're lucky. You get two recipes! Isn't that exciting!?

Dylan and I love Mexican food. Sometime down the road I want to try making some authentic Mexican dishes, but for now, I settled on this tamale pie. Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant, I have to have a tamale, so this particular dish sounded amazing to me. You ready? Let's start cooking!


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup medium-hot salsa
  • 1 can (15 1/4 to 16 ounces) whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onion and cook until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with side of spoon, until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Skim and discard any fat. Stir in chili powder and cumin and cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in salsa and corn.
  • In 2-quart saucepan, heat water to boiling. With wire whisk, gradually whisk in cornmeal and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, 5 minutes
  • Pour half of cornmeal mixture into shallow 2-quart casserole. Spoon beef mixture over cornmeal; spoon remaining cornmeal over beef and sprinkle Cheddar on top. Bake 45 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and let stand 15 to 25 minutes before serving. Makes 6 main-dish servings.
My Take
Now, as I've mentioned before, Dylan and I are very picky eaters. I think he's more picky than I am, but whatever. So, when I saw this contained onions, I, for a second, grimaced. Onions are one of my most disliked foods, but I love the flavor they can add to foods. So I got the bright idea that I could chop it up really fine and we would never notice. So I sliced half of a small onion and put it in my Magic Bullet. didn't turn out like I had planned. I think I used the wrong blade, so instead of being finely chopped, it came out as onion paste.

Okay, there was no way I was going to mix that with my meat, so instead I heated up the oil and cooked the onion paste a bit, just trying to get some of the flavor into the skillet. I think it kinda worked, but there were onions in the salsa, so I wasn't freaking out about it too much.

Another problem I ran into was I don't think it was done when I pulled it out. It might have had something to do with the fact that I didn't have a "shallow" casserole dish. The cornmeal wasn't completely set up. It wasn't firm, but it wasn't really watery either. It was just slightly gooey. I thought it was kind of hard to tell if it was done or not. It tastes fine, though, so I guess it turned out okay. It tasted really yummy. 

I think next time I make this, I'm going to use a pound of turkey instead of the ground chuck. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mexican-Style Spareribs

Alrighty, so I've tried cooking these ribs twice and what I've learned: Don't cook them on the grill! I found that alcohol and fire don't mix so well. Heh...should be obvious, ya? Anywho, this is a very good twist on the typical barbecue ribs.


  • 1 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed with garlic press
  • 1 pickled jalapeño chile
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup tequila
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 pounds pork spareribs
The sauce all mixed up
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In blender, combine cilantro, onion, garlic, pickled jalapeño, lime, and orange juices, tequila, oil, sugar, and oregano and puree until smooth.
  • Place spareribs in nonreactice roasting pan just large enough to hold them in single layer. Pour cilantro mixture over ribs, turning to coat well. Roast, turning ribs twice, 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn oven control to 450°F and roast ribs until very tender and richly colored, about 20 minutes longer.
  • Transfer ribs to warm platter. Skim and discard fat from sauce remaining in pan and spoon sauce over ribs.
  • Makes 4 main-dish servings.

My Take
These turned out pretty well the second time. As mentioned before, I wouldn't advise cooking them on the grill, as the tequila in the mixture makes the flame jump  up and char the ribs. They turned out much better in the oven. I liked how the flavors all came together and all that. Delicious and different than your typical spareribs. The only problem I had was the sauce in my pan burned around the edges, so I couldn't really pour the left overs on top of the ribs, but there was enough left on the ribs that you could taste it. 

Since there's only two of us, there is more than enough left over for left overs. ^_^