Monday, November 25, 2013

Perfectly Sweet Chocolate Chip Muffins



Gracious...I've missed blogging lately.  Every once in a while, life just gets in the way and prevents me from blogging as much as I'd like.  I promise I'll do better...especially with all the holiday deliciousness coming up VERY soon!  (Oh my goodness, is it really almost Thanksgiving!?!)

Hopefully, I can make up for it a little bit with these mouth-watering muffins that will make a perfectly sweet treat for your out-of-town guests over the Thanksgiving holiday.  They are great for a sinful treat at breakfast, yet they are an equally perfect mid-afternoon snack.

I made these as a post-birthday surprise for my 9 year old niece over the weekend.  She was one happy camper when she woke up to the smell of these babies wafting through the air.  I used semi-sweet chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate, just so they wouldn't cross the line of being TOO sweet first thing in the morning.  You could also add your favorite nuts to the batter, if you feel like it.

Now, I'm just wondering  what these would taste like with a little banana added to the batter.  Hmm...I just might try that next time. 

Bon Appetit and Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!



Perfectly Sweet Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from:  food.com

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light-brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (11 1/2 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease twelve muffin cups with no-stick cooking spray, or line with baking cups.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together flour, both sugars, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, butter, and vanilla until blended.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix just to combine.
 
Stir in chocolate chips and spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. 

Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.  Remove muffin tin to a wire rack and cool for 5 minutes.  Enjoy!

Note:  These muffins can be frozen.



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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Delicious Turkey Chili


It's very possible that a hot bowl of chili is among the very best ways to remedy a cold fall evening.  Don't you agree?  My mom-in-law, Carol, makes an out-of-this-world chili, which I've written about HERE.  It's amazing.  I'll forever compare any chili that I have from here on out to hers.  

This lightened up version, adapted from Guy Fieri, was actually pretty dadgum delicious.  Ground turkey is a much healthier alternative to the traditional ground beef.  I also used reduced sodium beans, so that I could be more in control of the salt content.  

Don't let the long ingredients list scare you away from this one.  All of the elements are common ingredients and are easy to prepare.  It all gets tossed into a large pot and simmered for an hour, which is super easy.  

The red & green bell peppers, garlic, red onions and turkey make a fabulous base and are perfectly seasoned with a variety of spices, like chili powder, paprika, and cumin.   Using three different kinds of beans also makes this chili extra special.  The tomato paste and tomato sauce just add to the deliciousness, and shredded cheddar is a classic garnish to finish it off.

And you know what?  This chili is even "Carol Approved!"  She loved it!  :)

Bon Appetit, my friends!


Delicious Turkey Chili
Adapted from:  Ryder's Turkey Chili by Guy Fieri

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 jalapeno peppers, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
9 cloves garlic, minced
2 small red onions, diced
3 pounds coarsely ground turkey (thigh and breast meat)
1/3 cup tomato paste
3 cups tomato sauce
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cups canned pinto beans with liquid
3 cups canned kidney beans with liquid
2 cups canned black beans with liquid
Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
Saltine crackers, for serving

Directions:
Warm the oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic and red onions and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes. Add the turkey and gently stir, trying not to break up the meat too much; cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and sauce, stir for 4 minutes, then add the chicken broth. Add the granulated onion and garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, 2 tablespoons salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Stir in the beans and their liquid, lower the heat and cook, uncovered, for at least 1 hour. Garnish with shredded cheddar and serve with saltines.
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