Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ten Minute Chili and Del Monte Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off Giveaway

All of you who know that I am a HUGE sports fan.  This time of the year is especially exciting and I don't want to spend game time in the kitchen preparing meals.  So I was so excited to find this Chili recipe.  It is perfect for game day or any crazy day for that matter. I used the new Del Monte Petite Cut Tomatoes with Green Chilies.  QUICK and YUMMY!!
10 Minute Chili
from Del Monte.com
1 can (14.5 oz.) Del Monte® Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies (or chipotle chilies)
1 can (8 oz.) Tomato Sauce
1 pound  ground beef
1/2 cup diced onions
2 Tablespoon chili powder (plus or minus to your taste)
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat, and onions in a large skillet.  Stir in the chili powder.  Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans.  Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until heated through.  
We like to serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

The new line of Del Monte Southwestern-Style Petite Cut Diced Tomatoes is awesome!! 
The addition of the Chipotle Chilies and
 Green Chilies is amazing!!
When I opened the can to make the chili, I was in awe by how fresh and beautiful looking it was!! I am very picky about how my tomatoes are diced and these were perfect!
Some quick facts about this new line:

  • The new Del Monte Southwestern-Style Petite Cut® Diced Tomatoes are the perfect way to spice up main dishes and snacking recipes
  • Del Monte canned tomatoes, fruits and vegetables contain the same essential nutrients as fresh varieties
  • The majority of Del Monte products are picked at the peak of ripeness and canned on the same day, to ensure nutrients and flavor are locked in.
To celebrate these new products they are hosting a Del Monte® Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off Sweepstakes
 Here is how to get started:

  • Follow the Del Monte Brand on Pinterest
  • Create a Pinterest board named “Del Monte Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off”
  • Pin at least two (2) Del Monte Tomato Recipes from the “Del Monte Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off” Pinterest board and at least two (2) football entertaining ideas
  • Register your Pinterest board to the Del Monte page from January 21st through February 15th to be entered into the Del Monte® Southwestern Tomato Kick-Off Sweepstakes program
  • Get ready for a chance to win one of the many prizes available, including an ultimate entertainment package with a Sony® 55” LED TV, Bose® home theater system and Sony® Blu-ray player (ARV $4,779.00 USD).   
  • for official rules go here.
To help you get creating your recipes and thanks to Del Monte one lucky reader will win this awesome gift pack:
 (1) Del Monte® Petite Cut® Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
(1) Del Monte® Petite Cut® Diced Tomatoes with Chipotle Chilies
$25 Visa gift card

Winner will randomly chosen on February 15, 2013.  To enter follow the directions below.

The Del Monte products, information and gift packs have been provided by Del Monte. All opinions are my own.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Recently I had my first experience with a red velvet cookie at a restaurant.  I was instantly hooked and had to try to recreate them.  They turned out fabulous and my coworkers said they were better than the ones we had bought!  They are a little messy to make, but oh so worth it!!
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
adapted just a bit from Duncan Hines
6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 box Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/2 -1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Melt butter; set aside to cool. Place powdered sugar and cornstarch in shallow dish. Mix with a fork to blend.
Place cake mix, cooled butter and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Mix by hand until well blended and a dough forms. (*Mixing by hand is the key to this recipe!)
Form dough into 1-inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in center of oven for 9 to 11 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute.
Delicious! You would never guess it was a cake mix base!
*The original recipe calls for 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon cornstarch.  I doubled the recipe and didn't use all of it.
Beautiful and delicious!! HUGE hit with everyone!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Apple Pie Bites

I recently saw something like this, but there was not recipe to go with it.  So I created my own.  Three words to describe it..QUICK, SIMPLE and DELICIOUS!! Huge hit with the family!  They were also cute. Top with a bit of ice cream and it is perfect!
Apple Pie Bites
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cans crescent rolls
3 Tablespoons butter
2 medium apples, cut into 8 wedges

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside 1 Tablespoon of the mixture.  Unroll the crescent rolls.
Brush with 2 Tablespoons butter and sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture.
Place a slice of apple in the large end of the roll.
Close the ends over the apple slice and roll up.  Try to seal ends the best you can.
Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet.  
Melt remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with the 1 Tablespoon of sugar mixture you set aside.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown and set up.
Top with some ice cream and serve!
YUMMY!!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chicken Tostadas

This was fairly quick to make and delicious.  A big hit with all the family members.  I allowed each of them to add their own toppings to the chicken and cheese mixture.  I will be making these again soon.
Chicken Tosadas
8-10 small corn tortillas
2 Tablespoons olive oil (you may need more or less)
2 cup grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup onion, diced small
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked chicken, torn or shredded
 salt and ground pepper
1 Tablespoon. plus 2 teaspoons lime juice
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1-2 tomatoes,  chopped
1-2  avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, diced small
fresh cilantro, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. 

Bake until golden and crisp, about 10 minutes. 
In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high. Add half the onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add chili powder and garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add chicken and 1/4 cup water and season with salt/pepper. Cook stirring frequently, until chicken is warmed though and water is almost evaporated, 2 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons lime juice and remove from heat.
In a large bowl, combine lettuce and 1 Tablespoon lime juice, season with salt/pepper. Toss well to coat.
 Divide cheese and chicken mixture among tortillas and return to oven. 
Bake until cheese is bubbling, about 3 minutes. 
 Top each tortilla with lettuce, tomato, avocado, remaining onion and cilantro if desired.
I like to serve with sour cream and salsa.
DELICIOUS!!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chocolate Avocado Muffins

Ok I'm sure most of you are reading the title and going....WHAT??  I love chocolate and avocados but  put the two together??? When I saw this recipe over at Inside BruCrew Life (an amazing blog by the way.) I was of course intrigued and you know me I had to try it out!!  I didn't want anyone to know what was in them before tasting them, so it was a rush to get them done before the kids got home from school.  A bit skeptical after I burnt the first batch, but the rest turned out awesome.  The kids LOVED them.  They were moist and delicious.  The recipe says they are better after they have sat for awhile, well mine did not last that long.
Chocolate Avocado Muffins
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ripe avocado, smashed
1/3 cup yogurt (I used vanilla flavor greek yogart)
2/3 cup milk 
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon. salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
1 cup chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream the coconut oil and sugar until combined. Add the applesauce, vanilla, yogurt and smashed avocado and beat until creamy. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the mixture, slowly beating it in. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Divide the batter into 15 muffin liners. Bake at 400* for 15-20 minutes. (I cooked my mini ones 8-10 minutes.)
 Store in a tightly sealed container overnight. They are much better when they have had time to set up.
As weird as it sounds together it works very well!! Loved that these muffins were packed with more nutrition than normal ones!





Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars

There is just something awesome about the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  These bars were super simple to make and they are oh so delicious!!

Peanut Butter Swirl Bars
from my friend Tawnia
1/2  cup chunky peanut butter
1/3 cup margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips

Cream together peanut butter and margarine with sugars. Add eggs. Add vanilla, soda and salt. Blend well. Mix in the flour. Spread mixture evenly into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle freely with chocolate chips. 
 Place in 350 degree oven (middle rack) for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and swirl melted chocolate throughout cookie batter.
 Bake for about 25 more minutes until center is cooked through. If bars start to pull away from the edge of the pan, the cookie is probably completed baking. 
Let cool, if you can wait that long, and cut into bars.
OH YUM!! They did not last long around my house!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Mini Chocolate Meringue Pies

Here is the recipe for the cute and delicious pies that I made recently.  They were a huge hit with the family.  The meringue was a nice touch making them a bit different from the normal chocolate pie.
Mini Chocolate Meringue Pies
From Pillsbury.com
Make mini pie crusts (directions can be found here)
Filling:
1 box (4 serving size) chocolate pudding
2 cups milk
1 oz. milk chocolate chips or bar (shredded or chopped finely)
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar
1 oz. milk chocolate chips or bar finely grated
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix pudding, milk and 1 oz chocolate together.  Place your baked shells inside the muffin cups to keep them from tipping.  Spoon about 2 Tablespoons of  pudding into each crust.
In medium bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold in grated chocolate. Spoon meringue onto pudding in each cup; spread to edge of crust to seal well and prevent shrinkage.
Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until meringue is light golden brown. 
Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until filling is set, about 1 hour. Store in refrigerator.
Enjoy!!



Saturday, January 5, 2013

Making Mini Pie Crusts the Easy Way

This year for Christmas dessert I decided to try something new.  These mini pies were delicious and fun to eat.  Who knew that making mini pies would be so easy!!
Mini Pie Crusts
Heat oven to 400°F. 
 Roll out pie dough and  using a round cutter or in my case the top of a glass, cut out rounds from each crust. Invert muffin pan. Place crust rounds on backs of the muffin cups, pressing and pinching to form cup. (I got 10 from 1 packaged crust)
 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. 
Carefully remove, let cool and fill with your favorite filling!
The recipe for mini pies I made will be coming soon!!
Think of the endless possibilities!!

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