Monday, November 28, 2016

Chili Mac and Cheese Soup

Chili Mac and Cheese Soup 1

There is that chill in the air that I love so. I know so many of you hate the cold weather but I truly love it. My chunky sweaters come out of the cedar chest, the thick socks are all moved to the front of the drawer and the warm boots come down from the attic bins. Now that I don't have to wear dress clothes to work anymore I happily put on jeans and a sweatshirt for work. I'm so warm and comfy all day.

I love making hearty belly warming foods too. I make my fair share of chili and soups during the fall and winter so I decided to try my hand at combining the two and making my own version of Chili Mac and Cheese soup. It's super easy to make too, so you can easily throw this together on a week night.

My guys all love chili. I make a big ole pot of it and they devour it over the course of a few days. This soup didn't make it past a day.

Chili Mac and Cheese Soup

  • Chili Mac & Cheese Soup
  • recipe from Lisa@ The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 1 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked al dente and drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add  the onion and cook until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute longer.  Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes, beans, chili powder and cumin and salt & pepper. Bring to a low boil and then simmer. Once the soup is simmering, shut it off, and remove it from the heat. Stir in the pasta. Let it stand about 15 minutes then add in the cheese.

Remove from heat. Top with cheese and cover until melted, about 2 minutes.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Stuffing Balls

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Stuffing Balls 1

Yes, you read that right.

I thought long and hard to come up with this one my friends. It all started with the Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps over 6 years ago. My most requested appetizer recipe ever. Click here for that recipe. After that I ventured further into all things wrapped in bacon and made these beauties....

Sweet Bacon Tater Tots

Sweet Bacon Tater Tots. Another hit. That led me to guessed it.....Sweet Bacon Kielbasa. Affectionately know as Sweet Bacon Pork Shots.

Pork Shots 3

There is no denying it. Everyone loves almost anything that you can wrap in bacon, then dredge in a chili powder and brown sugar.

So I started to think about what else would taste great nestled in a little bacon blanket. I started asking my husband, and my kids and my friends. What is comfort food to you. What makes your think of all things homey and good in life. What food makes your taste buds scream "YES". More than once I heard stuffing (or dressing depending on where you are from). My mother-in-laws stuffing balls come to mind and I knew I had it. The next great bacon wrapped wonder.


I must say. These were beyond perfection. After they had cooled just enough to bite into one, after I had the first taste, that savory sausage stuffed, the crunchy bacon, the hint of spicy sweetness from the chili powder brown sugar mixture, once I devoured that first one, I knew this was a winner.

I brought some to my husband and my boys and watched as their eyes nearly rolled in the back of their heads. yes, I had done it!

So you can whip these bad boys up, or here's an idea.....leftover Thanksgiving stuffing next week?? I think it just might be crying out for a little bacon love. I used an organic stuffing mix but you can use whatever mix you like.

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Stuffing Balls 3

You can thank me later.

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Stuffing Balls

Bacon Wrapped Sausage Stuffing Balls
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary
Makes about 30 balls
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 small onion, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
1- 6oz box stuffing mix (unprepared, I use Arrowhead Organic Stuffing mix – 10oz)
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup chicken broth
1 pound bacon

For the Brown Sugar/Chili Mixture
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
Stir together

Add onions and celery to skillet and cook until vegetables are soft and onions are clear. Place the sausage in the skillet and continue to cook until sausage is fully cooked. If there is a lot of grease, drain it. My sausage wasn’t overly greasy. Add the dry stuffing mix to sausage and stir to combine. Transfer to a bowl and then stir in the eggs and chicken broth making sure entire mixture is completely combined.

Using a cookie scooper, scoop the mixture into balls (a little smaller than a golf ball). Place onto a cookie sheet and put into fridge for about 30 minutes so they firm up. Prepare another sheet pan for baking. Line this with aluminum foil and place a cooling rack over the top. This will keep the stuffing balls from sitting in bacon grease. Wrap each ball in a half slice of bacon. I didn't need to use toothpicks to keep them together. Once the bacon cooks it will wrap itself around the stuffing ball. Roll in brown sugar/chili powder mixture and place on top of the cooling rack.

Bake in a preheated 400º oven for 18- 20 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy. Let cool 10 minutes before eating. Serve warm.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Coffee Cake Gingerbread Muffins with Streusel Topping

Gingerbread Muffins with Maple Glaze

If you haven't already noticed I am a bit obsessed with gingerbread. I've always loved it. I dont know if I'm more in love with the smell or the taste of it.

When I have something "gingerbready" in the oven my it makes my whole house smell warm and cozy. It's a festive smell you know? Like when you walk into a carnival and you can smell the candy apples or the cotton candy.

So I have to admit I have loads of gingerbread recipes to try and I'm doing my best to pace myself so you don't get gingerbread overload, and I know there are folks out there who don't like gingerbread. *gasp*. Tis true. But for my fellow gingerbread lovers I bring you these Coffee Cake Gingerbread Muffins with Streusel Topping. It's a sweet and lovely moist gingerbread muffin topped with a deliciously crunchy streusel topping.

Gingerbread + coffee cake = scrumptious.

I varied this recipe just a tad from the original. I used just a wee bit of maple syrup for the glaze. You know me and my maple, almost as bad as me and my gingerbread!

Gingerbread Muffins with Maple Glaze 1

Coffee Cake Gingerbread Muffins with Struesel Topping
Recipe from Deliciously Yum
Makes 12 muffins
For The Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup butter, melted

For The Streusel Topping
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
pinch of salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 all-purpose flour

For The Glaze

1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with liners or grease very well. Start with the streusel topping, combine sugars, cinnamon, ginger and salt in a medium bowl. Add melted butter and whisk to incorporate. Add flour and stir until just combined. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger.

In a separate bowl, whisk together brown sugar, egg and milk. Slowly add wet ingredients into the dry and stir until barely incorporated. Finally stir in molasses and butter and mix to combine. Don't over mix. It's okay if some lumps remain.

Evenly divide batter between the 6 muffin liners. You will be using the entire batter and fill each muffin tin pretty full. Sprinkle with all of the streusel topping. Put into oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let muffins rest for 2-3 minutes in the pan or until you're able to invert the muffins and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, whisk together the confectioners' sugar and heavy cream until smooth. Drizzle desired amount over each muffin and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans with Mayo/Garlic Dipping Sauce.

Roasted Green beans with dipping sauce 1

I'm all about roasting veggies. I roast just about any vegetable that you could think of. I've actually changed people's mind on certain vegetables that they thought they didn't like. You didn't like them until you had them roasted!

For most veggies all you have to do it spend a little time chopping and peeling and then it's as simple as throwing them all on a parchment lined baking pan and turning them a few times.

Tossing green beans in a little oil and Parmesan brings out a totally amazing flavor in them. Try these on your picky little eaters, I bet you can get them to eat their veggies this way.

Roasted Green beans with dipping sauce

Parmesan Roasted Green Beans with Mayo/Garlic Dipping Sauce
recipe from Lisa@The Cutting Edge or Ordinary
1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

For the dipping sauce:
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle olive oil and Parmesan cheese over the green beans. No need to measure, just make sure they are coated in oil (not swimming in it) and then top them off with a healthy sprinkle of cheese. Toss to coat and get the cheesy goodness all over those beans. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir them up a bit and return them to the oven for another 10 - 15 minutes, depending on how well done you like them. I like mine to have some good color on them.

While they are cooking, stir together the ingredients in a small bowl. Dip and enjoy!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole with maple glaze

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole 1

There is just something about the word fritter that makes me thing of all things homey and comfortable. I'd lump that word in there with back porches, tree swings, hot cocoa, warm biscuits and chicken pot pie. The word fritter just gives me that down home feeling.

So I saw this recipe on Pinterest and I immediately knew I had to make it.

Warm apples cooked in a caramel-like sauce paired with buttery croissants and topped with a maple glaze. Breakfast doesn't get much better than that my friend.

This is Christmas morning worthy friends!

My Blueberry Croissant Puff was my most favorite breakfast casserole but this is giving it a run for it's money.

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole

Apple Fritter Breakfast Casserole
adapted from a recipe at Wonky Wonderful
Apple Mixture
4 cups apples - peeled and chopped
6 tablespoons butter
1 packed cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 tablespoons warm water
10 oz croissants (I used a pack of mini croissants), ripped into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup apple butter
3 lightly beaten eggs
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons real maple syrup

For the apple mixture:
Melt butter in a large sauté pan, over medium heat. Add brown sugar and stir until completely incorporated. Transfer chopped apples to pan and stir until coated with sugar mixture. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring frequently. In a small bowl, stir together the corn starch and warm water. Add the corn starch mixture to apples and continue to cook/stir for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while prepping the other ingredients. The apples should be soft and the liquid will be a syrup consistency.
For the casserole: Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk together the heavy cream, apple butter, eggs and cinnamon. Spray 9x11 casserole dish with non-stick. Place most of the croissants in an even layer in the pan. Reserve about a 1/4 of the croissants. Pour the apple butter/cream mixture over the croissants. Top with the caramelized apple mixture.  Top of with the remaining croissants. Gently press down on the top with a wooden spoon or spatula so the croissants are covered. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Once lightly browned on top; remove from oven, glaze and serve.
For the Glaze
Mix powdered sugar and maple syrup together. Drizzle over the casserole.