Sometimes, I just need to eat out – and a trip to Olive Garden might be one of my favorite guilty pleasures when we travel to the closest “large town” – which is not really all that large…. I love the soup, salad, breadstick deal – but as we don’t travel that far, that much, making it at home was something I was very interested in. I’ve made this soup on the stovetop – but making it in my instant pot so super fast – easy, and done in about 30 minutes. Win/Win!
Hubby requested chili for dinner – but I had 2 lbs of ground chicken that needed to be used up – so I whipped this chilE up, which was a conglomeration of my Pueblo Green Chile and white chicken chili recipes. It’s pretty dang tasty and ground chicken is fairly economical. If you don’t have ground, or don’t want to grind your own in your food processor or meat grinder, diced chicken breast works great as well.
Season to your taste – we like chili powder and cumin along with S&P in our chili. Some people like oregano or Mexican oregano in their chile – it’s all to what you like. This recipe will also freeze very well – have some on hand for smothering burritos or adding to eggs or potatoes. It’s freezer friendly for sure!
I am generally a “from the jar” spaghetti sauce kind of girl, but my daughter has a cumin allergy – causes severe migraines – and most jarred sauces have cumin in them. I used to make my own sauce so I thought I’d write out the recipe for her to use in place of “migraine sauce” as she’s called it.
This is pretty flexible – just don’t substitute tomato sauce for crushed tomatoes – they are not the same thing.
I have been on a muffin kick lately. I came up with a technique that produces those tall bakery-style jumbo muffins and I’ve been baking, testing and adapting recipes like mad.
This blueberry muffin recipe uses yogurt instead of butter, which my cholesterol appreciates (except in the streusel topping, but that’s minimal.) The family really likes them – even the boy, who says he doesnt like chunks of berries in things. I guess he changed his mind.
To get tall muffins here are a few tips:
- Don’t be afraid to use your baking powder. I live at high altitude so I find this is really important – 3 tsp per 2 Cups of flour sounds like a lot, but it’s not…could probably even have another and not be affected.
- Use a jumbo muffin tin, with a regular baking cup liner (not the jumbo ones). I spray the tin AFTER I put the liners in – but the space between the top of the liner and the top of the muffin cup seems to give it something to cling to and climb up. It works well.
- Fill the paper liners up TO THE TOP. Because you are using a regular liner in a jumbo tin, filling the cups up is important. it may seem like they’ll be messy but because you spray them, they slide right out onto the rack – I use a small offset spatula to just lift them right out.
I use frozen wild blueberries, but you could easily use fresh – or frozen regular blueberries – either will work just fine. I’ve found that if I use frozen, I leave them frozen and mix them in. Once I have everything in the muffin cups, I let them sit on top of the oven while it preheats – it relaxes the batter, which gets stiff from the cold berries. Right before I slide them in the oven I top with the Streusel – and BE GENEROUS with this stuff – it really makes a difference in the muffin.
I am a big fan of the whole pinto beans you get in a good Mexican Restaurant. I like them more than the refried beans and they’re actually healthier, because refried beans are fried with FAT – which makes them tasty – but not necessarily healthy.
I got an Instant Pot (actually it’s a Cuisinart Pressure Cooker) and I was anxious to try to recreate my favorite beans. These are excellent – and really flexible. I put them in my Oven Baked Tacos Recipe, we eat them alone, you could “refry” them if you like – and for sure you can freeze them when you make too much!
I’m not exactly sure what makes these “Charro Style” but the recipe I adapted was a Slow Cooker Charro Beans recipe. The only thing I left out was the tomatoes, which just didn’t go with what I wanted to accomplish. Hopefully these tickle your tastebuds as well!
This is another one of my recipes that has been posted on Food.com for years. It has over 50 reviews and a 5-star rating. I’m adding it here because I like to have everything in one spot – and who knows, someday I might actually get around to that Cookbook I’ve always dreamed of writing 🙂
You can use ham bone, smoked ham shanks, smoked turkey wings, or no meat at all – its a pretty forgiving recipe. If you’ve only ever had split pea from a can, and think you hate it, I’d recommend trying this one – its REALLY tasty and filling on a cold winter day.