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I wanted to make something yummy for dinner last night and decided on chicken chili. I decided to “kick it up a notch” by adding some chorizo to it! This chili is easy to make, which is one of those things that I really like!

I am really particular about the type of chorizo I use because most of the chorizo that one finds in the grocery store is made from the salivary glands of either the pig or the cow. Doesn’t sound appealing to me…The brand that I buy is from Mulays Sausage Company. I discovered their chorizo (and they have some mighty tasty sausages too!) at a food show years ago! Their chorizo cooks up beautifully, is not overly greasy, and is made from pork shoulder. It is not too spicy either. It is great mixed with scrambled eggs, and cooked with chicken, as I did here in this recipe!

Preview

Preview

Ready to head into the kitchen?

Ingredients – 6 servings

1# Mulay’s Chorizo
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1# boneless chicken breast, cut up into small cubes
1 15 oz. can of diced petite tomatoes
2 chipotle chiles in adobo (not cans, just two of the chile’s from the can)
1 15 oz. can each of pinto, red kidney and black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 TBS Mexican chili powder (available in the specialty food section)
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
1 24 oz. bottle of Mexican beer (I used Modelo)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of corn flour
1 lime, juiced
2 cups medium cheddar, shredded
cilantro

First, cook up the chorizo. When I put this in the pan, I break it up as I add it to the pan. When just cooked through, drain on paper towel. Be sure to blot the top! Set aside.

Next, heat your oil in a soup pot. When hot add the onion and garlic and cook until just transparent. Then add the chicken and cook until the chicken turns white. Then add in the chorizo and stir to combine.

Cooked chicken with chorizo added

Cooked chicken with chorizo added

Then add in the chipotle chiles, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Stir this up to combine and then slowly add in about 3/4 of the beer.
The chili is ready to cook for an hour

The chili is ready to cook for an hour

Reserve the rest. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to simmer and cook for about an hour.

Next we will use the corn flour. A quick note on corn flour: Do not use corn meal, which is gritty. I find my corn flour in the regular baking aisle of the grocery store. It should be a powder and you can use this too for making tortillas!

Corn flour

Corn flour

If you are in the UK, do not confuse this with what we here in the U.S. call corn starch! It is not the same!

Add the corn flour to a bowl. Then slowly add in the rest of the beer and combine making sure you do not have any lumps. Then add the mixture to the chili slowly.

Corn flour and beer mixture added to chili

Corn flour and beer mixture added to chili

This will thicken up the chili. Next follow this by adding in the lime juice, then stir well. Bring this back to a boil, then turn down to simmer. Cook another 20 minutes.

Then serve it up! I like to put some of the cheddar at the bottom of the bowl, then top with the chili. On top, put more of the cheddar, a dollop of sour cream and a few of the cilantro leaves for zest!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Each bite is lovely! This chili is a bit spicy because of the chipotle chiles and the Mexican chili powder! By adding that beer at the end with the corn flour, the flavor of the hops in the beer really makes a good show!

Any takers on making this? Joe? Conor over at One Man’s Meat?

Have a great Friday! And, thank you for taking the time to drop by! Be well! ^..^

Serve with

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Back in May we planted up the vegetable garden in wine barrels. You might remember that post. If not, you can see this post by clicking HERE! The garden is growing beautifully and I wanted to share some photos with you! Now I do need to mention that I am having issues with the birds eating seedlings, and the earwigs doing some nibbling too…How about a preview of some of our tomatoes?

We have tomatoes!

We have tomatoes!

Going back in time…Here is a view of the vegetable garden when we planted. Mother’s Day is when you want to plant a garden here in the Sierra Foothills! Ready?

May 17th

May 17th

Here is a view from the deck of the garden today!

Looking over the garden today

Looking over the garden today

Quite a difference eh? I have already harvested zucchini! Here is a shot of the zucchini with the acorn squash plants in front.

Zucchini and acorn squash

Zucchini and acorn squash

My corn is now in bloom and is over 6 feet tall!

Corn

Corn

We have 3 different varieties of tomatoes. Celebrity, a purple heirloom and a Roma.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

And, this year I am growing fingerling potatoes!

Fingerling potatoes

Fingerling potatoes

Also in the garden are wax beans and green beans. Having bird issues with these plants! We also have onions and carrots. The radishes have been eaten by something and same with the cantaloupe. My peppers are just seedlings and the cilantro is starting to get bigger! I will be replacing the melon plants with something else that I might see if I can get today.

I hope you have enjoyed this garden tour! Now go out and have a wonderful Wednesday! Thanks for dropping by!

Be well! ^..^

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Undergoing chemo has really made me watch what I am eating. We had my easy taco casserole one night and I was instantly affected by it in a negative way. So, I was a bit hesitant with this recipe, but all turned out well. Here is an easy pasta dish whose recipes comes from Ree Drummond over at The Pioneer Woman. I did tweak the recipe a bit, but I really fell in love with the sauce. The cheese was just a bonus! Here is a preview…

Preview

Preview

Shall we head into the kitchen?

Ingredients
2 TBS olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 medium onion, diced
1# Italian sausage
1# ground beef
2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 14.5 oz. cans of tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasonings
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz. uncooked mostaciolli (The Pioneer Woman says to use Ziti but I could not find this in our grocery stores)
15 oz. tub of ricotta
1 1/2#’s shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup blend of asiago, parmesan, and reggiano
1 egg

Let’s get started! In a large skillet heat up the olive oil. When hot add the garlic and the onions and cook until just transparent. Then add the Italian sausage and hamburger and brown breaking these up into little bits as it cooks.

Brown the sausage and beef

Brown the sausage and beef

Drain most of the fat off. Leave just a bit so that it adds flavor.

Leave a bit of the fat in the pan

Leave a bit of the fat in the pan

Next add the tomatoes along with the juice, tomato sauce, Italian seasonings, and red pepper flakes. Stir this up really well and then set it to a simmer for about a half hour.

The sauce

The sauce

While this is cooking let’s get the cheese mixture made and get the pasta cooked! For the cheese, in a bowl add the ricotta, 2 cups of mozzarella and the cheese blend. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Crack in your egg and slightly mix.

The cheese before stirring

The cheese before stirring

This should be lumpy.

The cheese after stirring

The cheese after stirring

Get your pasta cooked until it is al dente. Drain your pasta and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Cool down the pasta

Cool down the pasta

Now preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

By now your sauce should be done with the simmering phase. Remove 4 cups of sauce to a bowl and allow it to cool. Turn the heat off on the sauce. After a bit, check on the sauce that you set aside. It should be cooling nicely! Once the sauce has cooled add it to the bowl of cheese and stir to combine. Then toss in the pasta and give it a nice even coating.

The pasta mixed with the cheese and 4 cups of sauce

The pasta mixed with the cheese and 4 cups of sauce

Take a lasagna pan or casserole dish and spoon in 1/2 of the pasta mixture.

The first layer

The first layer

Top with 1/2 the sauce.

The second layer

The second layer

Top with 1/2 the remaining cheese.

The third layer

The third layer

Repeat the layers and it is ready to bake!

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

Bake this for 20 minutes until it is bubbly!

Just out of the oven

Just out of the oven

Remove from the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes and then serve it up! Serve this up with some crusty garlic bread and a green salad!

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

Here are some suggestions for some other changes and additions. Instead of using Italian sausage, try the basil Italian sausage, or the hot Italian sausage. Or, increase the canned tomatoes with the addition of one can and add in 1 1/2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms.

I love this sauce so much that the next time I make a lasagna this will be the sauce that I use!

I hope that you give this recipe a whirl!

Thanks for stopping by today, and may you have a magnificent Monday! Be well! ^..^

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The WordPress Photo Challenge for this week is to feature photos that have letters in them. It took me a while to find photos with letters, but I did! Check these out!

T's

T’s

A pair of Y's

A pair of Y’s

A plate of O's

A plate of O’s

C's or U's

C’s or U’s

Let’s finish this off with the letter that marks the spot! The X:

X marks the spot

X marks the spot

Have a great weekend! And, as usual, thanks for dropping by!

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Well, yesterday I gave you Cream of Green Chile Soup, and today I give you Cream of Artichoke Soup. I made both of these soups in one day and for dinner we had the two of them combined! It was very, very good! This is an easy soup to make and very tasty with the gentle flavors of the artichoke hearts! Ready to head off into the kitchen? Let’s go!

Ingredients
2 TBS butter
1 small onion chopped
4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 #’s of frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted

Artichoke Hearts

Artichoke Hearts

4 cups of vegetable broth, or if you prefer chicken broth
2 cups of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

First get your butter melted in a stock pot. Then, just like in the cream of green chile soup, start to cook the onions until just soft. Then add in the garlic. When the garlic aromas hit your nose add in the artichokes.

Cooking the artichokes with the onion and garlic

Cooking the artichokes with the onion and garlic

Cook this for about 5 minutes and then add in your vegetable broth.

Add in the vegetable broth

Add in the vegetable broth

Cook this until the artichoke hearts are extremely soft, about a half hour.

Now get out your handy dandy blender or food processor and puree the soup until it is smooth.

Purreed artichoke soup

Purreed artichoke soup

Return this to your stock pot and add in the cream.

Add in the cream

Add in the cream

Bring this to a simmer and cook for about a half hour to reduce it. Then add your salt and pepper to taste. Here is the soup when it is done!

Cream of Artichoke Soup!

Cream of Artichoke Soup!

And here it is combined with the cream of green chile soup and a lovely crusty bread!

Cream of green chile and cream of artichoke soup combined!

Cream of green chile and cream of artichoke soup combined!

I hope that you will try both of these recipes! Please let me know if you do by leaving a comment!

Have a lovely Tuesday and thank you for taking the time to visit with me today!

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Pigs in a blanket!

Pigs in a blanket!

Last night I headed into the kitchen to make pigs in a blanket! It is an easy appetizer, and it makes 48 little piggies! So come with me as I take you through the process of putting these together! Let’s start with the ingredients…

Ingredients
1 cup of flour
dash of salt
1/3 cup + 1 TBS vegetable shortening
3 TBS very cold water
1 package of Nathans Mini Hotdogs, or if you feel wild, Hillshire Farms Little Smokies
mustard, ketchup or BBQ sauce for dipping

Place your flour and salt in a mixing bowl and stir it up. Then start adding the shortening a bit at a time. I use a fork to blend this and when you are done you should have little pea size bits in your bowl.

The flour and shortening are combined

The flour and shortening are combined

Then add the water one TBS at a time. When you are done your dough should be sticking together like what you see in this next photo.

Water has been added

Water has been added

Lightly dust your surface and then form the dough into a ball.

Form the dough into a ball

Form the dough into a ball

Roll out the dough as you would a pie crust.

Roll out the dough

Roll out the dough

Trim the dough.

Trim the dough

Trim the dough

At this point get your oven started. Pre-heat to 350 degrees. Prepare your baking pan by lining it with some foil and then use a non stick spray.

Next lay the little weenies on the dough and mark where you will cut strips.

Lay out the weenies on the dough and mark your slices

Lay out the weenies on the dough and mark your slices

Then slice the dough into your strips.

Taking a strip, place a weenie on the dough and start to roll the weenie in the dough.

Start to roll the weenie in the dough using water to seal

Start to roll the weenie in the dough using water to seal

With your finger moisten the edge and pinch to seal.

Rolled up little piggie!

Rolled up little piggie!

Don’t they look good?

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake these for about 30 minutes turning them halfway through cooking…When they are done serve them up with a bit of mustard, or ketchup. If you are doing this with those little smokies some warmed BBQ sauce is a really good compliment! Check out these pigs in a blanket!

Serve them up!

Serve them up!

Now just so you know, the flour mixture is one pie crust, and it makes for one flaky crust! Please let me know if you try this recipe!

The good news for today is that it is finally raining! Right now we have about a quarter inch and the temperatures are dropping! Snow maybe?

Well, thank you for dropping by today, and have a wonderful Thursday!

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Veal is one of the “hard to find” meats here in the Sierra Foothills. I am not sure why this is but when I saw veal at the grocery store I had to buy it! I decided to make Veal Marsala, and the Marsala was not easy to find either, but I did! I started dancing in the aisle when I did and believe me I got some weird looks! So, let’s head on into the kitchen!

The ingredient list is simple!
3/4# veal sliced thinly
1/2 cup of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
1 1/2 cups of Marsala wine
3 TBS butter
2 TBS fresh thyme leaves

A short list, but one packed with amazing flavors! Check it out!

Ingredients

Ingredients

The first thing you want to do, after getting your ingredients prepared and ready to use, as this is a quick cooking dinner, is coat your veal in the seasoned flour. Then heat the olive oil in a skillet and when it is hot add the veal. Do this in batches so you do not crowd the pan. Brown the meat. This takes about a minute a side!

Brown the meat

Brown the meat

As it browns remove it from the pan and set aside. Then add your mushrooms. You want to brown these and cook out the liquids.

Browned mushrooms

Browned mushrooms

Then add in the Marsala.

Add the marsala

Add the marsala

Heat this to boiling and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the the liquid is reduced by about one third.

Reduce the liquid by a third

Reduce the liquid by a third

Then add back the meat to the pan along with the butter. The butter and the flour will thicken the sauce a bit.

The meat added back

The meat added back

Bring this back to a boil, then add the thyme leaves. When the aroma of the thyme comes up, the dish is done! I served this with roasted potatoes and fresh green beans…

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

The flavors in this dish: Amazing! And, the best part of it, the dish is easy to make. Anticipate your cooking time to about 25 minutes!

Thank you for dropping by today and for joining me in the kitchen! Go have a great Monday, and I will see you tomorrow!

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I am really falling in love with cooking up a recipe using a beer or ale! The aromas of the food, not to mention the flavor, are rich and beautiful! So, when I came across a recipe in the December issue of Bon Appetit for a Belgian Ale – Braised Brisket, I just had to give it a go! I altered this recipe a bit, but it is based upon this recipe that I found! Shall we head into the kitchen?

Ingredients
Brisket of Beef, flat cut
Kosher salt
1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
1 TBS of pressed ginger
Bacon fat
1 yellow onion, sliced thin
1/4 cup of flour
750 ml bottle Allagash Tripel Reserve Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale

Belgian Style Ale


4 cups of beef broth
1 bay leaf

The first thing that you do is season the brisket with the Kosher salt. I was liberal with this. Then tightly wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and place it back in the refrigerator. The recipe calls for 8 hours but I only did this for 4 hours. Remove it from the refrigerator an hour before cooking to allow it to warm up a bit. Meat cooks better the closer it gets to room temperature.

As the meat sits, make the mixture which you will slather the meat with. Place the mustard and brown sugar in a bowl. Now the recipe calls for one to grate the ginger. This is truly a pain in the rear! My experience with this was that the ginger does not drop off the grater but sticks in the little grates. I ended up spending about a half hour extricating what little I grated using a toothpick to lift the pieces. After getting what I could off the grater, I switched to my garlic/ginger press, which worked so much better! Add this to the mustard and sugar and then mix thoroughly.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven heats up, get out a baking pan with sides and place a rack in the bottom. Place the meat on the rack and them slather it will all of the mustard, sugar, ginger mix.

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Brisket rubbed and ready for the oven

Let this sit until the oven is hot, then place this in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until it is a lovely golden brown.

As the meat starts baking, the next thing to do is prepare the braising sauce. I used my cast iron dutch oven. Heat the bacon fat over medium high heat. Use about 2 – 2 1/2 TBS. When this is hot, carefully add the onion. Cook these until they are a golden brown.

Browned onions

Browned onions

This takes about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to low, and then slowly mix in the flour. Take your time! This ensures that you do not get lumps! Cook this until the flour turns a lovely golden color.

Next, slowly add in your ale stirring as you go. The aromas of the ale with the onions? Fabulous! Once this is incorporated into the onions, then add in the broth and the bay leaf. Turn off the heat.

By now your meat should be ready. Pull it out of the oven and then turn the temperature down to 300 degrees. Add the meat to the dutch oven.

Ready to start braising!

Ready to start braising!

Cover this and place it in the oven. Cook this for 3 hours turning every half hour.

When this is done, remove from the oven, and remove the meat from the sauce. Let the meat sit covered for about 20 minutes before slicing. Place the dutch oven on a burner and heat to simmer until the sauce coats the spoon. When done, turn off the heat and cover. Slice up the meat.

Lovely sliced brisket

Lovely sliced brisket

Serve up slices of the meat and cover with a bit of the sauce. Don’t forget your vegetables! I served this with roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach!

Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

This was very yummy and the aromas in the house were amazing! We have enough for another dinner and we are looking forward to the increased flavors of it sitting overnight!

Please let me know if you try this recipe! Now go out and have a great Wednesday, and thanks for joining me in the kitchen!

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Today marks a milestone for Life in the Foothills! This post is #1000! When I started this blog back in June of 2011, who knew that I would still be writing and sharing with you in 2014? They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a painting celebrating 1000 posts!

1000 Posts!

1000 Posts!

Thank you 1000 times for reading this blog! Thank you 1000 times for all of your comments! Thank you 1000 times for inspiring me to continue on! Thank you 1000 times for all the great friendships I have made by writing this!

Thank you for visiting today and stay tuned for 1001! Have a fabulous Tuesday and see you tomorrow!

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While I have done this dish before, I changed how I make this recipe and now it is even better! This is an easy dish to put together and very tasty too! Here is a preview!

Preview

Preview

Ready to head off into the kitchen?

Ingredients
2#’s ground beef
1 small onion chopped
2 packages of taco seasoning mix
1 1/2 cups of water
2 2 1/4 oz cans chopped green chiles
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 container of fresh salsa
Corn tortilla chips
1# medium cheddar cheese grated
Sour cream

Brown the ground beef with the onion.

Brown the meat

Brown the meat

When browned, drain the fat off the meat. Then add in the taco seasoning mix and water.
Add in the taco seasoning

Add in the taco seasoning

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer until most of the liquid is gone. Then add in the green chiles, cilantro and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Next, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Add in the meat mixture. Top with about one cup of the grated cheddar.

Layer of cheese over the beef

Layer of cheese over the beef

Then top with salsa, using just enough to cover.
Then add salsa

Then add salsa

Follow this with the tortilla chips,
Top with chips

Top with chips

then the remaining cheddar cheese.
Top with cheddar cheese

Top with cheddar cheese

Cook in the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes.

When done, remove from the oven

Right out of the oven

Right out of the oven

and serve!
Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

We just topped this with some sour cream, but feel free to use this, along with some chopped olives, green onions, and a jalapeno chopped finely!

Now, wasn’t that easy?

Thank you for joining me in the kitchen today! Now go out and have a magnificent Monday!

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