Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mom's Chili

Making chili today! Here is a link to my original post.

I just got back from a long trip to Chicago. My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter was so fun and so busy. We had a great time. She helped me make banana bread!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I am in the mood for soup! Isn't it time you tried making 'mouth pockets'? Now really, come on! If I could ever find escarole in this neck of the woods, I would treat you to a great Italian soup recipe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fred's Favorite Caramel Corn

This caramel corn is SO good. I'm not kidding! Buttery, crispy, without being like hard candy. The BEST I've ever tasted. Be careful with the hot caramel, it will cause terrible burns.

Melt-in-your Mouth Caramel Corn (from the Northwest Daily Herald years ago)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter (I use salted)
2 cups light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda
5 quarts (20 cups) popped corn

In large, heavy bottomed saucepan, melt butter. Add sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow to boil for 5 minutes without stirring, until it reaches 260 degrees, hardball stage, on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat.

Stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour over the popped corn and stir gently with wooden spoon until corn is well coated. (I half my popcorn into two bowls and half the caramel so that its more evenly distributed.)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees << See that! 250 (NOT 350, it will burn!)
Again, 250 degrees.

Place mixture on two cookie trays. Bake for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes to coat evenly. Remove from oven. As popcorn begins to cool, break up large clumps. When completely cooled, store in an airtight container. Will keep for 10 days but if you let air get to it, it will be ruined.

1 cup serving = 220 cals.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Mom's Chili

I am making my Mom's chili recipe today so I thought I would share.  It's pretty simple to make. I serve it with cornbread and butter on the side. Also a little dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar on top is nice.

1 to 1.5 lbs ground pork or beef. I prefer pork, I like the flavor better. Or you could mix them.
3 Tbs veg oil.
1 large green pepper chopped.
1 large yellow onion chopped.
3 cloves garlic, pressed.
1 stalk celery chopped. (optional)

1- 15oz can tomato sauce
3- 15oz cans chili beans
1- 28oz can whole tomatoes
p.s. I like more beans so I added a can of black, kidney, and great northern beans to my pot.

2 bay leaves whole
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground red pepper (more if you like it spicier, I'm a whimp)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
ground pepper
(All the spices can be increased if you like a stronger taste. I don't usually measure these out, I just sprinkle.)

2 - 3 Tbls Cider Vinegar

Heat oil in a large soup pot on med/high heat. Saute green pepper and celery for 5 minutes, then add garlic and onion. Saute until they are beginning to soften. In the meantime, brown ground pork or beef in a separate skillet. Drain and add to the veggie mixture.

Add spices and stir. Continue to cook on medium heat for 5 minutes then add tomato sauce and chili beans. Open the can of whole tomatoes and cut up with pair of kitchen scissors while still in can.

Then add the whole thing, liquid and all to the mixture. Stir and bring to boil on medium heat. Then turn it to low and COVER. You want to retain as much liquid as you can for the 4 to 5 hours it cooks. Stir occasionally and check for burning or sticking on bottom. You may have to turn the heat to very low to keep this from happening. I even have to move my pot half way off the burner at times to keep it at a very low simmer.

The longer it cooks the better it is. You could eat it in a couple hours but the tomato base really hasn't had enough time to get really smooth tasting. I add cider vinegar during the last hour to give it that mouth watering tang. Try a tablespoon at a time until you reach the level you prefer. Vinegar REALLY makes all the difference in chili.