Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mole Chili

This is a recipe that I "made up" more or less, blending several chili and mole sauce recipes.
Here's the version I made today; after some more eating, I may post suggestions for changes next time.

Servings: 12 - 14

2lb ground meat (I used 1 lb 94% lean beef and 1 lb bison)
2 onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped

4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 packet chili seasoning
4 cloves garlic
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes, not drained
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 (15oz) can chili beans in spicy sauce, not drained
1 (15oz) can kidney beans, drained

1. In 10-inch skillet, cook meat over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain. In same skillet, brown onions.
2. Spray 4- to 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. In cooker, mix beef mixture and remaining ingredients.
3. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours. Stir well before serving.

Pumpkin Blondies

Fall has always been my favorite season o' eating (hmmm, though I might say this around Christmas too...and spring when berries are in season...and...never mind, let's just say I love fall food). This year is no different for the most part, except I have a little more time to actually bake now that that whole pesky dissertation thing is behind me :-)
I keep reading about pumpkin blondie variations, and decided to go with one from Annie's Eats.
I pretty much followed the recipe, but have added a few more details/very slight twists below.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
16 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
½ cup chopped, toasted pecans

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt. Stir together and set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the pumpkin puree.
With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in the white chocolate, butterscotch chips, and nuts with a rubber spatula. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting into 24 squares.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Carrot cake bars with peanut butter and bacon chips

Threw this recipe together after being inspired by this. Not totally happy with how things turned out -- next time I will add a little more butter and one less egg to make it more like a bar and less like a cake. I think it could also use a little more salt, and think that drizzling the bars with a melted butter and brown sugar glaze before the cream cheese frosting drizzle would be good too.
And, even though I hate to admit it, I don't think the candied bacon added that much. I think I'd stick with PB chips, carrot, and substitute walnuts for raisens next time too.
They're not at all bad though, just not what I envisioned!

1 box carrot cake mix with raisen/carrot mixture included
3/4 cup melted butter (would increase to 1 cup)
1 1/4 cup water (would decrease to 1 cup)
2 eggs (would use 1)
1 10oz bag PB chips
1/2 cup candied bacon pieces

Preheat oven to 350 and grease 9x13 pan. Mix first 4 ingredients well, stirring in PB chips and candied bacon. Bake for about 30 min, until knife comes out almost clean. Drizzle with slightly warmed cream cheese frosting (and maybe some butter/brown sugar drizzle too).

Pumpkin Coconut Bread

Tried this after seeing it on Coconut & Lime. I substituted light coconut milk and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour/1 cup all purpose flour, and added an additional 1/3 cup of coconut to the bread itself.
It turned out pretty well, and had a very mild coconut flavor. A soft, chewy quick bread -- great warm with a little butter, and wonderful for fall.

5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided
1/3 cup coconut milk (can use light)
1 egg, at room temperature
2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat pastry + 1 cup all purpose)
2 teaspoons baking powder (+ ~1/2 tsp extra for altitude)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour or spray (with baking spray with flour) 1 loaf pan. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the coconut milk, egg and pumpkin, mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing thoroughly. Stir in 1/3 cup coconut. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut if desired. Bake 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan about 5 minutes then invert to a wire rack.

Monday, October 12, 2009