Chili Con Carne

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Chilly nights are perfect for enjoying comfort foods that warm you from the inside out! This was flavorful and has the perfect amount of spiciness. We enjoyed it with this corn bread, aged cheddar cheese, cilantro and some sour cream. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chili Con Carne – adapted from Simply Recipes

  • 2 Tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • One – 2 pound chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste – season lightly
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeño chili peppers, stems removed, seeded, ribs removed, minced
  • 1 28-oz can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • juice of 1/2 of a lime
  • 1 14-oz can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated cheddar cheese, cilantro and lime wedges for serving

Directions –

1.  In a small bowl mix the chili powder, chipotle chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, and ground coriander. Set aside.

2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat, add back in 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Working in batches so that you don’t crowd the beef (crowding will steam cook the meat instead of browning it), brown the beef cubes on all sides. Remove beef from pan, set aside.

3.  Add another Tablespoon of bacon fat to the pan. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño, cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add the chili paste and cook for 2-3 more minutes.

4. Put onion chili mixture, beef, tomatoes, water, lime juice. Heat the chili on medium high heat until it comes to a simmer. Then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Then uncover and cook for another half hour, keeping the temperature at a place where you can maintain a simmer.

5. Gently mix in the kidney beans. Add salt to taste. Adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese, cilantro and sour cream if desired. Serve with cornbread.

Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread – adapted from Allrecipes

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 8×8 baking dish or a 9 inch cake pan.

2. Melt butter in large skillet (I put it in the microwave for about 45 seconds). Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Fold in the cheese and pour into your prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.(*mine took 30 minutes with convection)

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Paleo Beef Stir Fry

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I made this for the whole family, but served theirs with rice, and for a Paleo friendly side, use cauliflower “rice”. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry – adapted from Deliciously Organic

For the Steak Marinade:

  • 1 1/2 pounds sirloin, sliced thin against-the-grain
  • 1 tablespoon fermented tamari sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry

For the Ginger and Garlic Mixture:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the Garlic Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth (homemade preferred)
  • 3 tablespoons fermented tamari sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 teaspoon honey

For the Vegetables:

  • 3 -4 cups steamed veggies – I used carrots, green beans and broccoli

Directions –

Toss together the sirloin, tamari and sherry in a small bowl. Let sirloin marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature. Whisk the garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil in a small bowl. Whisk together sherry, chicken broth, tamari, sesame oil, garlic, arrowroot and honey in another small bowl.

Heat a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to pan and swirl to coat. Place sirloin in one single layer in skillet and don’t stir (meat should sizzle – if it doesn’t the pan isn’t hot enough). Cook sirloin for about 1-2 minutes until bottom side is brown. Turn, using tongs, and cook until brown on the bottom, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer sirloin to a clean bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to now empty skillet and heat until just shimmering. Add broccoli, green beans, and carrots. Stir continuously for about 1 minute. Make a well in the center of the vegetables and add the ginger-and-garlic mixture. Stir ginger and garlic mixture in the middle of the pan for about 45 seconds and then combine with the rest of the vegetables. Add sirloin slices (and any accumulated juices) and garlic sauce to pan. Toss until sauce begins to thicken and ingredients are well coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using. Serve immediately.

Bison/Beef Burger with Avocado Dipping Sauce and Kale Chips

This dinner was amazing – I didn’t even miss the carbs and cheese! 😉  I used a pound each of bison and lean beef for the meat mixture, which I gently mixed, and formed into patties, then generously sprinkled fresh black pepper and pink salt on top. My husband expertly grilled them up; while I fried my egg – I’m not ashamed to admit that runny yolks are my favorite!

 

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For my Paleo plate, I placed a piece of Romaine lettuce, some dip, two slices of tomato, the burger, more dip, and then the lovely fried egg. I could not wait to dig into this meal. And the kale chips? They’re so light and crispy, salty and savory and complimented the avocado dipping sauce perfectly. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Avocado Dipping Sauce – adapted from Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods

  • 1 medium ripe Hass avocado
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

Directions –

1. Halve the avocado, and remove pit and peel.

2. Place the avocado halves and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. Serve as a spread, dip or dressing.

 

Kale Chips – adapted from Kansas City Mamas

  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Directions –

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lay each kale leaf on cutting board and cut out hard stem with a sharp knife.

3. Place leaves in a large bowl and wash well. Drain kale well, or spin in a salad spinner. Place leaves in a large bowl and coat with oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat.

4. Divide leaves onto two cookie sheets if necessary- you don’t want the leaves to steam. Roast for 15 minutes, being careful not to burn.

 

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The money shot!

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes

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Yum! These are the least fussy sloppy joes that I came across in my search. The flavor was kid friendly without too sweet or bland – I loved it and happily ate leftovers the next night. My picky eater quickly ate her portion without any coercion from me – that almost never happens and that is a win in my book 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Brown 1 pound ground beef in a large skillet with olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons each ground cumin and smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; cook 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/2 cup water and simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. Serve on slider rolls with potato chips

Re-Post: Pot Roast

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I often plan my meals basted on the local weather forecast and I was so happy when I learned the high today would be 71 degrees and the low 61. I know some of you might not think that is at all cold – but this is Florida after all…I’ll take what I can get! 😉 Anything less than 80 degrees feels like a treat here and what better way to celebrate this cooler weather than to make something warm and comforting? I love its simplicity and all the great flavor that it creates; this one is hands-down my favorite, especially when we serve it over a big pile of roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Pot Roast with Vegetables – adapted from Tyler Florence

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 yellow onions, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 12 – 16 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed and sliced in half
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions –

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender.

Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.

Grilled Steak Tacos with Chimichurri

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These are the best steak tacos I have ever eaten and chimichurri is a new surprise fave 🙂 I used this pico de gallo recipe, caramelized onions, and this tortilla recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Grilled Steak Tacos – adapted from Feasting at Home

Steak and Marinade-

  • 2 lbs Flank Steak ( or pounded skirt steak)
  • 1 sliced sweet onion for grilling (optional)
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/3 C soy sauce
  • 1/3 C olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 4 smashed, chopped garlic cloves
  • 1/2 C chopped cilantro (stems ok)


Directions:
In a bowl, mix together ingredients for marinade. Place steak in a gallon size Ziploc bag and pour marinade over, sealing and turning several times to coat well. Let sit at room temp for at least 30 minutes, turning occasionally. ( Or marinate for up to 3 hours in fridge, bringing to room temp before grilling.) Grill steak on med high heat to desired doneness. A little char is good. Let rest 10 minutes, (grill the tortillas in the mean time) then thinly slice the meat across the grain.
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Cilantro Chimichurri-

  • 1 bunch Cilantro or about 1 cup packed (stems OK)
  • 1 bunch Italian Parsley- about 1 cup packed (thin stems OK)
  • 1/4 C fresh lime juice (1-2 limes)
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C chopped onion
  • 2 garlic  cloves
  • ground cumin 2 tsp
  • ground coriander 2 tsp
  • salt 3/4 tsp kosher
  • jalapeño -1/2 a pepper

Directions:
In a food processor, place jalapeno, garlic, onion, and pulse several times until chopped. Add cilantro and Italian parsley, pulse again. Add oil, lime juice, cumin, coriander, and salt. Pulse until combined. Set aside in small serving bowl.

Super Simple Chili

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I was hesitant to try this one because there are so few ingredients, but all the reviews reassured me that this would be worth making. I decided that it wouldn’t be seasoned enough for my taste so I added a few extras to bump up the flavor. I used one pound each of ground beef and pork, sauteed onion and garlic with the meat, added a six-ounce can of tomato paste along with the tomato sauce. I also had a couple of cups of homemade chicken stock that I didn’t want to waste, so I used that instead of water to loosen the chili up. I didn’t modify the spices (although I should have – there still wasn’t much flavor in this). This is not a “soupy” chili at all but it would be perfect for hot dogs, hamburgers or nachos. Overall, this was as I had predicted – too bland for my tastes! Although, it’s a good jumping off point for those who like to tweak recipes anyway. Thanks for stopping by!

**Click the link for the original recipe.

Super Simple Chili – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • homemade chicken stock for thinning, or water
  • 1 – 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Cheddar, for serving
  • Chopped onions, for serving

Directions –


Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic and onion. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water or stock at a time as needed. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar and chopped onions.

PW’s Baked Ziti

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I don’t normally make a meal for someone when I haven’t made it before, but PW has yet to steer me wrong; so I went for it. I also don’t get many chances to make meals like this, (the hubbs doesn’t like baked pasta dishes!), so when a friend from home group was scheduled for surgery, I thought that this would be a comforting meal for her and her family. This pasta is rich and filling and what you see in the picture is only half of what the recipe makes! I don’t think a 13 x 9 baking dish could have contained it all – so if you have a lasagna pan, you might want to use it!  Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Baked Pasta – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
  • 1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1-1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg
  • Fresh Minced Parsley

Directions –

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.

Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.

Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

 

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

 

 

I’m usually leery about crock pot recipes and I rarely search for new ones. Most recipes I have seen (or most that are popular on Pinterest), are full of canned this and packaged that…I have seriously considered creating a new pin board entitled: “Recipes that Scare Me”!  There is nothing questionable in this recipe and it is so good! The aroma greeted me as I walked through the door after picking up my SIL from the air port. This was the perfect meal to come home to and I will make this again. It’s rich, hearty and goes perfectly any thick, tube pasta. I served this with a quick garlic bread, but if I had more time – I would have made this one (always a favorite!) Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce – adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

  • 1 lb ground beef (I used 90/10 ground sirloin)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 bay leaf (or 2 small)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Directions:

Season ground beef with salt & pepper then brown with minced onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain then add to a large crock pot. Add all the ingredients except for the butter, stir to combine, then cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove bay leaves, stir in butter, then serve over cooked pasta.

Beef with Snow Peas

I am really digging stir fry dinners! I bookmarked this recipe months ago, it’s a PW recipe so I knew she wouldn’t steer me wrong 😉 The flavor in this dish is spot-on! I didn’t have the required sherry, so I used Mirin – other than that, I followed all the directions. My family really enjoyed this meal and I my picky eater asked if she could eat leftovers before she was finished with her serving 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Beef with Snow Peas – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1-1/2 pound Flank Steak, Trimmed Of Fat And Sliced Very Thin Against The Grain
  • 1/2 cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Mirin
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Fresh Ginger
  • 8 ounces, weight Fresh Snow Peas, Ends Trimmed
  • 5 whole Scallions, Cut Into Haf-inch Pieces On The Diagonal
  • Salt As Needed (use Sparingly)
  • 3 Tablespoons Peanut Or Olive Oil
  • Crushed Red Pepper, For Sprinkling
  • Jasmine Or Long Grain Rice, Cooked According To Package

Directions:

In a bowl, mix together soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add sliced meat to bowl and toss with hands. Set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy skillet (iron is best) or wok over high heat. Add snow peas and stir for 45 seconds. Remove to a separate plate. Set aside.

Allow pan to get very hot again. With tongs, add half the meat mixture, leaving most of the marinade still in the bowl. Add half the scallions. Spread out meat as you add it to pan, but do not stir for a good minute. (You want the meat to get as brown as possible in as short amount a time as possible.) Turn meat to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove to a clean plate.

Repeat with other half of meat, allowing pan to get very hot again first. After turning it, add the first plateful of meat, the rest of the marinade, and the snow peas. Stir over high heat for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Check seasonings and add salt only if it needs it. Mixture will thicken as it sits.

Serve immediately over rice. Sprinkle crushed red pepper over the top to give it some spice.