• Stovetop Chili Mac

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    Since my oldest has now asked to have chili mac 3 times since I first made it, I was planning on making it for dinner last night. Well, I got really busy doing some things around the house, and before I knew it it was too late to start the crock pot. So I adapted the crock pot recipe to make a stove top version and it was tasty and very well received.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 lb. 93% lean ground turkey
    • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp. chili powder
    • 3 tsp ground cumin
    • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 2 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
    • 1 15.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1/2 lb. pasta (elbow, baby shells, mini penne), cooked al dente
    • 1 c. frozen corn
    • 1/4 c. black olives, sliced
    • 2 c. grated cheddar or pepperjack cheese
    • 1/4 c. cilantro for garnish
    • Additional toppings of choice: Chipotle Tabasco, sour cream, salsa, or jalapenos

    Directions:

    1. In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook onions and garlic until soft; then add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and turkey and cook until turkey is cooked through, stirring occasionally to break it up.
    2. Add the tomatoes and kidney beans to the meat mixture and combine. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or so.
    3. Stir the cooked pasta, corn, and olives into the chili.
    4. Top with cheese and sprinkle with cilantro and/or any of the other toppings.

    Chili Mac:

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  • Thanksgiving Feast

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    We had quite the fest today. Rather than list all the recipes in one post I’ll post each recipe separately. Since our kids have been born this is the first Thanksgiving we’ve celebrated with just us. It was probably one of the best Thanksgivings ever! The food was fabulous too! :)

  • Smoked Chicken

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    We (more accurately, -s) smoked 2 chickens for our Thanksgiving dinner. They were unbelievably delicious. One was marinated overnight in our favorite spicy bbq sauce and the other had a dry rub. Both were fabulous, but my favorite was the one with the dry rub. The dry rub gave the chicken such great flavor. We just used an inexpensive ($70) electric smoker, and it worked great.

    Dry Rub Ingredients:

    • 1 dried chipotle
    • 4 tsp. chili powder
    • 1 tsp. garlic powder
    • 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
    • 1/2 tsp. salt

    Directions:

    1. Combine chipotle and peppercorns in a spice grinder and grind
    2. Combine all spices
    3. Massage spices onto the chicken
    4. Smoke according to your smoker’s directions. We used hickory wood and smoked for the chickens for 6 hours. Be advised that cooking time varies, especially on the weather–the colder the weather the longer the smoking takes.

    Smoked Chickens:

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  • Grandma’s Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls

    This is another one of those recipes from my grandmother. The entire extended family makes these rolls and the entire family loves these rolls, and whenever I make them it makes me think of my grandma. In my family, no holiday meal is complete without these rolls. They are delicious!

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    Quick Yeast Dough

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. warm water
    • 2 pkg. dry yeast (I use the quick rise variety)
    • 1/2 c. dried skim milk
    • 1/2 c. sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 3 eggs
    • 1/2 c. butter or margarine, melted and cooled slightly
    • 4 1/2 c. flour

    Directions:

    1. Dissolve water and yeast in a large mixing bowl
    2. Stir in dried milk, sugar and salt. Add the eggs one at a time and beat vigorously. Add the butter, and then stir in the flour gradually until smooth
    3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 7-10 minutes. Have extra flour on hand while you knead, so the dough isn’t too sticky.
    4. Put about 1 tsp. olive oil into a large bowl. Place dough in bowl and roll the dough in the oil. Let the dough rise in a warm place (like an oven, but make sure it’s not too warm, otherwise you’ll kill the yeast). The dough will double in size.
    5. Punch dough down. Roll dough out and create desired shape. To make crescent rolls, roll dough into a circle and cut like a pizza (you will have triangular shaped pieces), then roll each slice from the base of the triangle to the tip. You can bring the ends close together to make the crescent or leave straight.
    6. Once the dough is shaped let it rise again in a warm place.
    7. Bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.
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    Cinnamon Rolls

    Ingredients:

    • Dough recipe above (you can make 1/2 rolls and 1/2 cinnamon rolls)
    • Butter
    • Brown Sugar
    • Cinnamon
    • Pecans, if desired (I omit)

    Goo Ingredients:

    • 1/2 c. butter
    • 1 c. brown sugar
    • 1/4 c. light Karo corn syrup
    • Pecans, if desired (I omit)

    Directions:

    1. Work with half the dough at a time.
    2. Heat butter, brown sugar,and corn syrup.
    3. Whatever size pan you use (depends on how many cinnamon rolls you make), grease the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. Add goo to pan and how ever many pecans you like.
    4. Roll dough out and spread with butter (I actually use Brummel and Brown for this step), brown sugar and cinnamon. I just put a layer of butter, then a thin layer of sugar, and then a layer of cinnamon.
    5. Roll it up and cut (each slice should be about the width of 2 fingers) and place in pan.
    6. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes
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    Grandma’s Yeast Rolls and Cinnamon Rolls:

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  • Pear and Cranberry Salad

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    This is quite the festive salad and goes great with any holiday meal. I got this recipe from one of those recipe cards in the produce section of the grocery store.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 large or 2 small ripe pears, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
    • 1/4 c. dried sweetened cranberries
    • 3 c. salad greens
    • 1 TBSP. balsamic vinegar
    • 1 TBSP. Olive Oil
    • 1 TBSP. veggie oil
    • 1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper

    Directions:

    1. Combine pears, cranberries and salad greens in a large bowl.
    2. Stir together vinegar, olive oil, veggie oil, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour over salad just before serving, tossing well.

    Pear and Cranberry Salad:

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  • Grandma’s Turkey Stuffing/Dressing

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    Stuffing vs. Dressing: Stuffing is cooked in the bird and dressing is cooked outside the bird. This here is my grandmother’s recipe (with a few alterations by yours truly), and Thanksgiving without grandma’s stuffing isn’t Thanksgiving at all. This recipe has been passed down from my grandmother (haven’t a clue where she originally got the recipe or if it’s her creation), to all 6 of her kids and now to the grandchildren, at least the ones who can cook (seeing that the youngest grandchild is only 5, there are quite a few years until the recipe reaches all of us).

    Ingredients:

    • 1 c. butter or margarine
    • 1 c. chopped onion
    • 1 c. chopped celery
    • 1 to 1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (I omit)
    • 6-8 c. stale bread cubes (half the amount should be stale cornbread, and that’s why we make chili and cornbread the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, you can buy stale bread cubes at the grocery store, but be sure they are unseasoned–kind of hard to find, or get some French bread a few days before and leave it out on your counter to get it stale)
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. pepper
    • 1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning

    Directions:

    1. Cook onion, celery and nuts (if using) in butter over low heat until soft, but not browned.
    2. Stir in remaining ingredients until well mixed and taste to see if the seasoning needs adjusting.
    3. Stuff bird lightly–don’t pack it in.
    4. Extra stuffing may be cooked in a covered casserole dish for 45 minutes.
    5. Do NOT stuff turkey until ready to roast, but you can make the stuffing the night before and then stuff the bird the next day.

    Grandma’s Turkey Stuffing/Dressing:

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  • Cranberry Sauce with a Kick

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    I love homemade cranberry sauce, and rather than go the traditional route, we opted to make a cranberry sauce with a kick. It was delicious, and our 2 year old loved it!

    Ingredients:

    • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
    • 1 c. sugar
    • 1 c. liquid (juice one orange and add enough water to make 1 c.)
    • zest of 1 orange
    • 1 serrano, membranes and seeds removed

    Directions:

    1. Zest the orange and mince the serrano.
      Juice the orange and add water so there’s 1 c. of liquid.
    2. Bring liquid and sugar to a boil. When it comes to a boil add cranberries. Bring back to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add the zest and the serrano.
    3. Transfer sauce to a covered dish and allow to cool at room temperature, then refrigerate.

    Cranberry Sauce with a Kick:

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