Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chunky Chicken Chili

I found this recipe in the Orlando Sentinel a few weeks ago and decided to make it because I had most of the things already on hand. It turned out amazing! Below the recipe are my substitutions.

Level of Difficulty : Easy
Servings: 8 (but it made way more than that!)
Stars: 5!

2 pounds trimmed boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans undrained diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers
8 ounce can no-salt-added or regular tomato sauce
1.25-ounce envelope 30 percent-less-salt chili seasoning mix
2 (15 ounce) cans rinsed corn
15-ounce can of rinsed black beans
Fat free sour cream
Chopped Fresh Cilantro

Place chicken in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker.
Mix tomatoes, tomato sauce and chili seasoning; pour on chicken. Cover and cook on low 7-8 hours or until chicken is no longer pink.
Stir to break up chicken. Stir in corn and beans. Cover; cook on low 15 minutes. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.

I didn't have boneless chicken thighs so I took the skin off of the chicken leg quarters from Publix and placed those in the crock pot. After the cooking time I just pulled the chicken out and removed the chicken off the bone. It fell right off. I served the chili over rice with a sprinkling of shredded cheese and a little dollop of sour cream. I did not use fat free sour cream. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

French Chocolate Silk Pie

This recipe has been a favorite in our family since Tom and I were first married back in 1979. I got it from the Orlando Sentinel that published it from Mack Meiner's Country Store. This was a wonderful restaurant that used to be located on 17-92 just passed Virginia Drive. They had the best BBQ and the best Peanut Butter Pie! This recipe works for both their Chocolate and Peanut Butter versions. Try them both together for a great Peanut Butter Cup Pie.

Difficulty: Moderate, if you make your own crust. Easy otherwise.
Stars: 5, of course!
Prep Time: 30 minutes

1/2 cup butter, softened (not melted)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted, or 2 Tablespoons peanut butter (creamy)
1 baked pie crust

Beat butter until smooth and creamy. Beat in sugar gradually until fluffy. Mix in chocolate and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating 5 minutes after each addition.

Spoon into shell. Chill overnight. Top with whipped topping.

Makes 1 (9 inch) pie.

Posted by Debi

I Have a Craving...

For Chocolate Silk Pie!

There is even a pie crust waiting in the freezer... :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pinto Beans and Cornbread

We had this last night, and it was delicious!! And it made the house smell yummy all day!

Prep Time: 1 hour (if using quick soak method - see package for details)
Cook Time: 5 hours in crock pot
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 10 - 12 (or 6 really hungry people!)
Source: Paula Dean, Food Network


* 1 pound dry pinto beans
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 pound ham hocks, or 1/4 pound streak o' lean
* 4 cups water
* 1 onion, chopped
* House Seasoning, recipe follows


Wash the beans and soak overnight in cold water. Drain the beans and dump into slow cooker. Stir in chili powder and oregano.

If using ham hock: Pre-soak ham in a separate pot, for at least 2, or refrigerated up to 24 hours, depending on how salty you want your stock to be. Add ham hock to slow cooker with beans and pour in ham soaking liquid. Add more water until ham hock is completely covered.

If using streak o' lean: Cut into cubes, brown in a skillet, and place the meat and any rendered fat in the slow cooker with beans. Pour 4 cups water into pot.

Add onion to slow cooker with beans and meat. Stir well. Season, to taste, with House Seasoning, cover the pot, and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 5 hours.

Serve hot over corn bread.

House Seasoning:

1 cup salt

1/4 cup black pepper

1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Posted by Debi Walter

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apple Pork Chops

My family gives this 5 stars

Preparation - 30 minutes

Cook time - 1 hour

Difficulty - Easy

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

6 (1/2-inch-thick) pork chops

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 medium-sized cooking apples

2 cups apple juice, divided

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Combine first 4 ingredients in a shallow bowl; dredge pork chops in mixture. Reserve remaining flour mixture. Brown pork chops in oil in a large skillet. Arrange chops in a 13-x-9-x-2-inch baking dish.

Core unpeeled apples, and cut into rings; place on chops. Pour 1 ½ cups apple juice over apples. Combine sugar and allspice; sprinkle over apples. Bake, uncovered, at 325 degrees for 1 hour or until chops are tender.

Remove pork chops and apple slices to a serving platter, reserving pan drippings. Dissolve 1 ½ tablespoons remaining flour mixture in remaining ½ cup apple juice. Combine flour mixture and pan drippings in a saucepan; cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Serve sauce over pork chops. Yield: 6 servings.

I got this from Southern Living

Mrs. E. W. Hanley

Palm Harbor, Florida

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mom please post a recipe

Mom, can you please post your recipe for Apple Pork Chops?  The Fall Season is starting and that is perfect recipe.  Thanks!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fried Okra and Green Tomatoes

I give this recipe 5 stars! It will serve 4 - 6, unless you're like me and I could eat the whole pan myself!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Eating Time: seconds!

And as a bonus you could watch the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, with your girlfriends while you enjoy this wonderful southern dish.


Fresh Okra, sliced
Fresh green tomatoes, sliced
Fresh sweet onions sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola oil

Prepare vegetables by washing, slicing and set aside. Place generous amount of flour in gallon sized Ziploc bag. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place vegetables in bag and close. Shake until all are well coated.

Add oil to heavy duty fry pan (cast iron works best) until it is 1/4 inch thick. Heat until it begins to smoke - watching carefully. Add vegetables and allow to fry for about 20 minutes or until starting to brown - do not stir. Flip vegetables over and allow to fry for another 15 to 20 minutes watching so it doesn't burn.

Remove from pan on cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Serve warm and enjoy every bite!

Posted by Debi Walter

Ricotta Fritters

Wow!  These were so delicious and very quick to make.  I always wonder what to do with leftover ricotta cheese from when we make pizza.  Most of the time all I can think of are very rich dinners, manicotti, lasagna or something with pasta.  Over the next couple posts I will share with you unique recipes that include ricotta cheese.  Today's is a dessert or a snack if you want something sweet!  =)

Serves: about 12 to 18 fritters
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Difficulty: easy, but involved

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 T. baking powder
1/2 C. sugar (for rolling)
Corn or Canola Oil (for frying)

Combine all ingredients - except sugar and oil - until well mixed.  

Heat oil in deep frying pan, fill pan about half full with oil.  I used corn oil, but canola oil would work fine too.  Oil is hot enough when a wooden spoon in inserted and bubbles form around spoon.  Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees.  I used our small convection oven.  

Make dough balls no bigger than 1 Tablespoon.  Drop dough in hot oil and immediately start flipping  back and forth.  Keep it moving for even cooking.   Cook until lightly browned. Remove from oil and roll in sugar.  Place on paper towel to remove excess oil.

Once all fritters are browned place on cookie sheet and put in oven for 10 minutes.  Flip after 5 minutes.  Cook until inside is fluffy like a doughnut or it starts to crack on top.  In my small oven it only took 10 minutes - adjust baking time according to your oven.

Oh whoops!!  My own rules...this is Tracy.  =)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tomato - Feta Pasta

This is a fairly simple recipe that Chris and I whipped up one night when we weren't sure what we wanted for dinner. It's best with fresh ingredients, although I'm sure you could use frozen or canned veggies if that's all you have on hand. Our family gives this recipe five stars!

1 box whole wheat fettucini, prepared per manufacturer's instructions
Extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 large purple onion, diced
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 red bell pepper chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup Marsala cooking wine or Balsamic Vinegar  
2-3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 to 1 container tomato basil feta cheese
1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
mediterranean sea/kosher Salt and pepper

Prepare pasta, place in large serving bowl, set aside. In medium pan, heat olive oil to medium heat, saute chopped garlic and diced onion until golden brown and tender. Add spinach leaves, saute until wilted. Add red pepper, heat to desired tenderness (we like ours a little crunchy). Remove from heat and add cooking wine or vinegar to taste. Pour garlic, onion, spinach, pepper mixture over pasta - be sure to get all excess oil/wine/vinegar into bowl.  Add feta cheese and toss well. Sprinkle romano/parmesan cheese, salt and pepper over top, serve warm with fresh french bread. Enjoy!

A few additions you could try are: chopped prosciutto, crumbled bacon, fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed, grilled chopped chicken breast, etc. My husband loves meat and he said he didn't even miss it in this flavorful dish! 

Menu Planning Tips

I received these tips from the Busy-Moms-Tips that are sent to me from Yahoo Groups. You can sign up to receive these tips yourself, but you must have a Yahoo Account. Hopefully these tips will help us all in our desire to become better cooks for our families and friends. Enjoy!

• Variety - Plan several days or a week of meals at a time. This will help you avoid repeating foods too often.
• Color - Think about all the different colors of foods. Colorful meals are more appealing. For example, color in foods such as orange and green fruits and vegetables can indicate the presence of vitamin A.
• Texture - Include foods that are crunchy, chewy, and smooth. This will add interest to the meal.
• Aroma - Prepare foods that smell good. Baking bread, cooking with spices such as cinnamon, and sautéing onions are examples of aromas that will stimulate appetites.
• Portions - Serve portions that are inline with MyPyramid recommendations (
• Arrangement - Pay attention to how food looks on the plate. It should look good, delicious and appealing.
• Choice – Select foods you know your family will eat and are within your budget. Don't be afraid to try new things.

Posted by Debi