Follow me on a journey through the Duxbury Free Library's cookbooks. Together we will explore new recipes, new cookbooks, and life's adventures through food.

Friday, September 27, 2013

What do I do with all those chipotle peppers?

I hate when I find a recipe that I want to make and it calls for a small amount of an ingredient that I have to buy a large amount of.  Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are a perfect example.  You only use one or two peppers for most recipes, but the can has 8 to 10 peppers in it.  I do love this ingredient, it adds a great smokey taste to recipes and some nice heat.  I always add it to my chili recipes, and it makes a great spread if you grind up one pepper and mix it with some of the adobo sauce and mayonnaise.  Just taste it for the heat level.

 I never use up a whole can at one time though, so I put the remainder of the can into a small freezer bag and flatted it out.  You can then freeze it and just break off a chunk when you need it for a new recipe.  Notice in my ingredients picture, the small bag.  That is the chipotle.  I also did the same thing with my left over tomato paste from the last recipe.  When I need a tablespoon or two next time I can just break off a piece.

Last weeks chili recipe called for 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef, but I had a 2 lb package.  Since I am trying to follow the recipes mostly as written I had an extra 1/2 lb of ground beef.  I decided to add this beef to the bowl that I had mixed the tomatoes in.  This bowl still had a little bit of tomato and seasoning in it.  I also added some chopped pepper and onions and then formed it into burgers.  I popped them in the freezer, and there is dinner one night for DH and me.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Magazine recipes are keepers!

I think I have come up with a new diet, it is called the Patriots stomachache diet.  My goodness I love those boys, but they make me so nervous watching them each week. I need one of those blow-out weeks where we are accused of running up the score.  It has been a while.

September 7th Pats 23 Bills 21 / September 11th Pats 13 Jets 10

But anyway back to cooking.  I tried both of the recipes that I wrote about last time.  Chipotle Beef and Black Bean Chili and Raspberry-Chip Coffee Cake from the Family Circle Magazine.  Both of the recipes are keepers.

The Chili was very easy to make and I loved that it cooked in the slow cooker. I was concerned that the hamburger wouldn't cook well and would clump together, but it didn't as you will see in the following pictures.

Chop one red pepper, one green pepper, a large onion and the garlic.  Place in the slow cooker, then add the hamburger.  I broke it up with my hands so it was loose and then mixed it with the veggies. (Sorry picture slightly blurry)

In a large bowl mix the tomato (I used one can of petite diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce, because my family doesn't like large chunks of tomato), chipotle peppers ( I used two, but it does make for a spicy chili, use only one to make it less spicy), and spices.  Pour this over the meat and veggies and mix together.

Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 8 hours adding beans for last 30 minutes and ta-da yummy chili is ready when you are.

Now for dessert.  Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Then mix together.

Mix in the chocolate chunks (I used mini chocolate chips and they did settle on the bottom, next time I will look for the mini chocolate chunks and flour them before I add them to the batter).  Pour this mixture into a sprayed 8x8 pan and top with raspberries (I broke my berries in 1/2 before I put them on the cake).

Mix the topping ingredients until crumbly (be sure to get the butter well incorporated). Add to the top of cake and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

Give these recipes a try, and maybe eat before the Patriots game so you can really enjoy the food.

Next post I will give you some tips on what to do when you have too much of an ingredient.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef and Black Bean Chili

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and diced
1 large green pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 lbs ground beef chuck
2 cans (14.5 oz each) stewed tomatoes
3 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, seeded and chopped
2 cans (15 ox each)black beans, drained and rinsed
Tortilla chips and sour cream (optional)

1. Coat the bowl of a slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.  Place onion, garlic, peppers, and ground beef in bottom of slow cooker.
2. in a medium bowl, combine tomatoes thru chipotle peppers.  Pour over ground beef and mix lightly.
3. Cover and hook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.  Stir in beans during last 30 minutes of cooking time.
4.  Serve with crushed tortilla chips and sour cream, if desired.

Raspberry-Chip Crumb Cake

1 1/4 cups all -purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract\
1/2 cup dark mini chocolate baking chunks
1 container raspberries (6 oz), about 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, oil and vanilla.
3. Make a well in center of flour mixture.  Add egg mixture to well and beat with a wooden spoon 1 minute, until evenly moistened; stir in chocolate chunks.  Spoon into prepared pan and top with raspberries.

1. In a small bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly.  Stir in walnuts.  Sprinkle topping evenly over raspberries.
2. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on wire rack.  Cut into 9 squares.  This cake is best eaten on the day it's made.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Patriots and Zinio and Food, some of my favorite things!!!

I was reading the new issue of Family Circle magazine on my iPad yesterday.  There was an article called Good To Go!, 10 take-it-with-you ideas for tailgates, potlucks or anywhere there's a hungry crowd.
 There are three reasons why this should be of interest to you:

#1 - MAGAZINES. You might ask how I was reading a magazine on my iPad.   I was using a great application that OCLN provides for free called Zinio.  Zinio is a great way to get all the new issues of more than 120 magazines free and as soon as they come out.  No waiting for anyone else to return a magazine or waiting for a new issue to come out so you can check it out.  Just pull up our catalog on your computer and on the right hand side you will see NEW IN THE LIBRARY. Under that is Zinio downloadable magazines.  Click there and follow the directions.  You to will be able to get all the magazines you could want instantly.

#2 - FOOTBALL!!! I am so excited about this link! I am a huge Patriots fan and I will often schedule my Sundays to work at the library around the Patriots schedule.  If  I have to work on a day when the Pats are playing,  you are sure to see me at the Circulation Desk with a pin that says "Please don't share the score", because I have the game recording at home.

#3 - TAILGATING.  Whether at home or at a game, tailgating food is a favorite with my family.  I am always on the look-out for new recipes so I've decided to share with you the recipes I find in magazines as well as in the great cookbooks we have at the library.  This week I will be trying Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef  and Black Bean Chili and Raspberry-Chip Crumb Cake.  I will let you know how they turn out, but in the mean time, check out Zinio.

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

Both DSs were off to school on Monday, so hopefully things will slow down at home..  However, last week was a different story; packing, shopping, laundry, cleaning and organizing kept me pretty busy.  That doesn't allow for a break from cooking though, so I thought I would share with you a couple of easy dinners that got me through the crazies.

 The first is my French Dip, which consists of a quick au-jus made by sauteing a small onion chopped with a clove of garlic in a tablespoon of oil.  When translucent, I add about two tablespoons of flour, cooking for a minute or two, then I whisk in a box of beef stock.  The flour doesn't actually thicken the stock, it just gives it a slightly opaque quality.  I season this with Montreal steak seasoning to taste.  When I get to this point, the DH is capable of getting dinner on the table when I am at work.  He only has to re-heat the au-jus, add sliced roast beef from the deli, and heat through.  The warmed meat is placed on rolls that are toasted in the oven with slices of swiss or provolone cheese.  Serve with juice on the side for dipping and french fries or chips. Really easy and super good.

The second meal came about because DH said he was in the mood for Italian sausage pizza.  However, neither one of us felt like going out and funds were on the low side.  Therefore, Italian Sausage Pasta Bake was born.  I had some Italian sausage in the freezer, green peppers and onions. I defrosted the sausage in the microwave, sliced one green pepper, one medium onion and sauteed those in a little olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic powder, a few red pepper flakes, AND oregano, just like a pizza!  When the sausage was defrosted, I noted it happened to be Italian chicken sausage, although any sausage would be fine.  I sliced the sausage, added it to the veggies and cooked this until the sausage was done.  Because of my sausage was precooked it only took about 10 minutes, however, if you are using regular sausage I would cook this separately from the veggies and then mix the two together. I then added a can of crushed tomatoes, letting it simmer while I boiled a box of penne.  I mixed everything together and put it in a casserole dish, topped with Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, baking in the oven just until the cheese melted (about 10 minutes).  This literally took about 30 minutes from start to finish.  Great busy night dinner.

Enjoy, and I hope these can help get you through the crazies.

Sneek peek for my next post, downloadable magazines, cooking and football.