Let’s talk about our favorite things! I love this conversation because I learn/find something new.
So, first, let me share my favorite pantry staples…
San Marzano tomatoes
San Marzano tomatoes are a plum tomato from a specific region Italy. I went to a cooking class and the chef raved for days about San Marzano tomatoes so I haven’t gone back since. Look for this variety when making tomato sauces & soups, like this, when the tomato flavor is important (not necessary in chili, for instance).
Um, yeah, why didn’t they do this years ago? I’m a big proponent of chopping the real thing, but I’m
often always short on time so this garlic is great to have on-hand. Spice World also makes minced roasted garlic…all over it.
Ghirardelli chocolate chips
If you’re going to make something sweet, might as well have the real thing. These semi-sweet chocolate chips are a standard in all my sweet recipes.
You know, 3/4 of people break their spaghetti before cooking it. So why not make it half length? Sounds easy enough.
Not too long ago I was in he working world (sigh, missing those days) where I spent two years developing this idea. Much more complicated than you would think (seriously). But the product is finally on the market, yay! I get super excited every time I see it on the shelf. Available in many store brands (like Great Value) & the regional brands of Mueller’s, Anthony’s & others.
Adds a nice deep flavor to many dishes. You don’t need a lot, but mix in a little to give your egg casserole or chili something special.
Lets also talk about our favorite snacks. (Why not?)
Capital obsessed with this Popcorn Indiana Drizzled Black & White popcorn. I’ve been known to finish whole bags in 3 days. There’s a bag in my pantry that my husband just opened…serious test of will power.
Along these lines, I love these chocolate covered pretzels. Y-u-m.
Non-chocolate related, I have been enjoying this Soothing Caramel Bedtime tea. Add a little honey or sugar – perfect bedtime ritual. Probably healthier than the wine I was enjoying
occasionally before bed.
Loving CoffeeMate’s Peppermint Mocha creamer that a friend introduced me to. It’s apparently seasonal, darn.
Always been a fan of Archer Farms salsa. So many great varieties to choose from.
Favorite kitchen equipment. Sure, why not…I LOVE my Dutch oven, as those around know how often I use it. Soups, chili, roasts – so many uses.
I also just got a 11 cup Cuisinart food processor that I love. Works like a charm. I’ve been obsessed with making peanut butter in it recently (normal?).
I have 3 mini serving spatulas. So much more handy than a large one. But I’m also obsessed with small cooking equipment.
Non-food related, while we are talking favorites…
Love the VSCO Cam app. It makes editing pics fun & pretty, like this.
Frequent user of Amazon Prime. So easy to compare prices, shipping is free & fast.
Listening to Mat Kearney on our Google Play. ”Where we gonna go from here…”
Loving the new GapFit clothing. Because I live in work-out clothes (don’t interpret this to mean I’m working out).
That’s it for now…let’s hear your favorites!
Although they are baked, in mini muffin pans, so maybe they are mis-labeled.
“Cake donuts,” says my father, and “cupcakes” is what my daughter calls them.
It doesn’t really matter what you call them.
They are baked (not fried!) & can be made with light sour cream or Greek yogurt (I’ve done both!) so they are healthy, too, right? Maybe just in the donut classification. Doesn’t matter.
Perfect breakfast food. Combo it with some coffee (running theme in my life…although we are doing better, not to jinx it) & you’re all set.
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips or chocolate chips roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons light sour cream or Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-2 cups of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4-6 tbsp of warm milk or water
- Preheat oven to 375. Grease mini muffin pans with non-stick cooking oil (& flour).
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and baking soda. In a small bowl, beat together the vanilla, egg, sour cream or yogurt, milk, and oil.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Spoon in a greased pan (makes about 16-18).
- Make glaze: whisk powdered sugar, vanilla & 3 tbsp of water/milk in a small bowl. Gradually add more water/milk until desired consistency is met.
- Bake for 8 minutes; cool & then glaze (dip donuts in glaze or drizzle).
Adapted from Buns in my Oven.
See ya, January. In a way, it was a great month. We had some visitors (look at the matching jammies…thanks, Elsie & Lynette!).
We had some cocktails with visitors….
And drinks with friends. I believe drinks taste like the defeat (or conquering??) of mothering 3 little kids.
We are mastering the art of tummy time…
And am I the only one obsessed with these mini cadbury eggs?? I buy them the minute I see them in the store. I have a delicious cookie recipe coming to you soon.
And a cake donut recipe, too…
It wasn’t so great because of that crazy southern weather storm. And because of expectations…expectations of sleep. I’ll get over it soon & I promise to stop talking about it (once I’m getting it, of course!). If they weren’t so cute…
On to February…
When you live in a state that is not used to getting snow, watch out. The city, drivers, etc. are just not prepared to tackle those 2.” Literally. Crazy. Annoying. Dangerous. Some things are better as a part of history.
So, we make chili. I like this because you can basically pull this from your pantry (at least my pantry). We are stuck inside anyway, going a little stir crazy with these guys. Even they are bored.
There’s endless possibilities with a white chicken chili. Search for this recipe & you will see. Or try this one & see if you like. A lot of personal preferences when it comes to any chili.
The corn & hot sauce are optional, but I think the heat is a nice touch & the sweet corn balances that a bit. Monterey Jack cheese is usually the reco for a white chili, but I usually have cheddar jack on-hand. I’ve used canned chicken, too (but I’m not a can chicken hater, I know many of are).
Anyway, til the next city shut down, enjoy your chili.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 (4oz) can of diced green chilies
1/3 c white wine
2 cans Great Northern beans, rinsed
16oz chicken broth (low sodium)
2 cups (+) water
1 lb cooked, shredded chicken
1/2 cup sour cream (light), plus more for serving
1 cup cheddar jack shredded cheese, plus more for serving
1 tbsp hot sauce, plus more for serving
1/2 cup frozen corn
salt, to taste
Chopped, fresh Parsley or cilantro
- In a large pot, cook onion in oil for about 5 min or until transparent. Add chillies, cumin, chili powder, white pepper, celery salt & flour; cook & stir for a couple more minutes.
- Add white wine, stir & reduce by half.
- Add beans, water, chicken broth; bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat & simmer for 10min. Add chicken & corn & simmer 5-10 more min.
- Stir in cheese, sour cream, hot sauce & additional salt, as needed. Garnish with chopped fresh Parsley or cilantro.
- Serve with additional cheese & sour cream.
Depending on your preference (I like it more soupy), add (or subtract) water to chili as needed. Loosely adapted from here.
If I have the goal of accomplishing nothing during the day, then I usually have a successful day. These 3 kids require lots of attention! Lots of (figuring out the) routine around here. And 2 of them aren’t even mobile so I can only imagine what the next couple years will be like. More of this…
I sound like a broken record, but I am trying to appreciate this crazy stage of my life. Heck, I can hardly remember what I did for my daughter when she was a baby – it feels like a lifetime ago (Um, she just turned 2). But, maybe that’s because a million things have happened in the past year. I’m sure I’ll be longing for these days. You know, the ones where the house is a mess, you’re sleep deprived, desperately need a shower (& a beer) & don’t even know what day it is.
Each stage is beautiful in its own time.
Oatmeal is a winter thing, so before this stage passes, I will share another steel cut oatmeal recipe. You can cook these stove top like this recipe or via overnight crockpot like this one. You can sub the water with milk; the “cream” is half-and-half for me but feel free to use the real thing (or milk).
3 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 can sliced peaches (in 100% fruit juice), diced, reserving the juice & remaining 1/2 can of peaches for serving
1/4 cup reserved fruit juice
2-3 tbsp brown sugar, plus more for serving
Pinch of salt & cinnamon
1 tbsp flaxseed, optional
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
*Milk, cream or half-and-half for serving
- (To prevent browning, set up a double broiler in your slow cooker.) Add about 4-6 cups of water to the slow cooker. Place all ingredients in a heat-proof bowl inside your slow cooker. Stir.
- Set heat to low & cook overnight, or 7-9 hours. Stir & serve with cream & additional peaches &/or sugar.