Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tequila Lime Turkey Chili

It's officially October, which means a plethora of things for me! It's my favorite time of the year, greeting us with cool crisp mornings, where we get an excuse in AZ to wear scarfs and sweaters, I get to decorate my house for the first time since the last set of holidays ended, I can finally run outside, and this year I get to venture on 4 vacations before the New Year! Oh, you didn't think I forgot about the most important one did you? HALLOWEEN!!! It's no secret that I am uber-obsessed with the holiday. I personally like it more than Christmas, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I have had my decorations up for 2 weeks now. I had already pulled out the bins of decorations from the garage and dragged them into the house before looking up at my boyfriend and asking him if I could put them up. There was no saying no to that smile on my face! And last, but not least, it's time to break out the crock pot for just about every meal. This chili was so easy to assemble, it basically requires no work at all. The crock pot does almost all of the work for you. Now if only they made a crock pot that diced your onions for you... I might be on to something!

Tequila Lime Turkey Chili

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (remove the seeds and ribs for less heat)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 6 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (such as Rotel with green chiles)
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp. tequila
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • garnish: freshly chopped cilantro, shredded pepper jack or cheddar cheese, lime wedges, tortilla chips, sour cream, diced avocado
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno and cook until softened; 5-7 minutes. Add in the tomato paste, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook for another 2 minutes until well combined and aromatic.

Add in the ground turkey, and as it cooks, break it up with a large wooden spoon, until browned and no more pink exists. Add in the tomato sauce and mix well.

Pour turkey mixture into a crock pot and stir in the diced tomatoes, pinto beans, chipotle, and tequila. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

When ready to serve, add in the lime juice and mix well. Place a large ladleful of the chili into a bowl and top with your garnishes of choice!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chili Garlic Roasted Salmon with Green Bean Salad

I've been moving my way through Seriously Delish from How Sweet It Is, and I can honestly say that every single recipe has been a winner. This salmon is no exception. My realtor/family friend is an avid hunting expeditioner and brought back an insane amount of wild, freshly caught salmon from a recent fishing trip in Alaska and offered us a few filets to cook up at the new house. Can I just tell you what a difference wild salmon is from that farm-raised crap that you buy at the store? I mean, sure, you gotta pick out some bones here and there, but that's how you know it's good! So next time you are trying to justify spending twice the amount of the fresh fish, do yourself a favor and just buy the fish! You'' thank me later! Then drizzle with this perfectly sweet and spicy marinade and serve over a fresh green salad. I took two of her recipes and made them together, since you can't have salmon without salad in my house. Bon Appetit! 

Chili Garlic Roasted Salmon with Green Bean Salad

  • 1 1/2 lb. salmon fillet
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic loves, minced
  • 2 tsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 6 oz. fresh green beans, ends trimmed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1-2 oz. parmigiano-reggiano cheese, shaved for garnish
Preheat 0oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with tin foil and place the salmon, skin-side down, on the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, garlic, sugar, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Rub all over the salmon and place int he oven for 20-25 minutes until the salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile prepare the salad by tossing the spinach and green beans together, then topping with the tomatoes and shaved cheese. Season with a little bit of salt and pepper or your favorite light flavored dressing. 

Remove skin from salmon and serve over the salad. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

HDFB Home Makeover

I wanted to share with you guys some of the fun things that have been going on my my house as of late. I not only use this blog to share the fun recipes that I make, but also to document what's going on in my life as I journey through it. It's like my own little diary (on the Internet, I know) that I can look back and remember what I was into (hint pumpkin everything), how I was feeling (probably hungry), or what I was craving (pizza!). Today I want to remember the progress that we have made in our new home. We have been here for exactly 1 month now, and boy have we made some amazing changes! When we bought the house, the entire interior was yellow (no!), and the fireplace (aka the focal point of the main part of the house) was a gray/blue. We have since painted the entire house, adding some accent walls in the living room and bedrooms, as well as a mantle made out of wood from a local reclaimed wood shop here in Phoenix. My home renovator extraordinaire, aka my boyfriend, installed pendant lights over the breakfast bar/island, mounted our TV on the living room wall, and even installed a white subway tile back splash in our kitchen (#1 on my must have list). Here are some before and after pictures of some of what we have done so far, but not so much that I spoil it for our housewarming party next week!!

split living room and dining room: before

 split living room and dining room: after 

newly stained and hung mantle

edison bulb pendant lights

 kitchen after paint

backsplash action shot

almost there!

backsplash complete

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pumpkin, Pecan + Pepita Granola

I cannot express how elated I am that pumpkin everything season is finally in full swing. My pinterest board is overflowing with recipe ideas that I have, and I've just been waiting, pet impatiently I will admit, for the time to come when pumpkin was socially acceptable. Otherwise, Halloween and pumpkin themed meals would be going on all treat long, and if probably be deemed crazy by my boyfriend, nonetheless my neighbors, family, and coworkers. Today's recipe actually comes from began blogger, the Minimalist Baker, who makes even the sin fullest meals like nachos covered queso, not only healthy, but vegan. This granola is hands down the best I've ever made at home, and couldn't wait to share with you all!

Pumpkin, Pecan + Pepita Granola

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats (do not use quick/minute oats)
  • 1 1/4 cups halved pecans
  • 1/3 cup raw pepitas
  • 3 tbsp. coconut sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey (could also use maple syrup or agave nectar instead)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
Preheat oven to 340 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, pecans, pepitas, sugar, salt, and pumpkin spice. 

In a small saucepan, heat the oil, honey (or substitute), and pumpkin puree over medium heat, whisking together. Once the mixture is combined, pour over the oats and quickly stir together to coat as much of the oat mixture in the pumpkin puree as you can.

Spread evenly onto 2 large non-stick baking sheets, cooking for 12 minutes, then rotating the pans (top to bottom, bottom to top rack), and cook for another 12 minutes; until golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature before breaking it up into chunks and store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Serve over greek yogurt, chia seed pudding, or with some almond milk like cereal!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Apple Butter Crumble Bars

If you have been following my blog for a long time, or even just a week, then you clearly know that I am seriously obsessed with Seriously Delish, a cookbook from my favorite food blogger and basically my life inspiration, Jessica Merchant, from How Sweet It Is. And in spirit of my obsession with her, her recipes, and all things food, I am once again sharing a recipe from her best-seller. I have already brought you her Green Chile Turkey & White Bean Enchiladas and her BBQ Chicken Pizza, but we are talking dessert today with these perfect-just-in-time-for-fall apple butter bars topped with a sweet, buttery crumble topping. Her recipe was perfect as-is, but I just had to add in some cinnamon, because cinnamon is perfectly indicative of autumn. I basically had to sneak some of these in the dark so that my boyfriend couldn't see me, because he wasn't going to share these with anyone. They're that good. 

Apple Butter Crumble Bars

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup apple butter
Crumble Topping:
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8x8-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the peanut butter and the brown sugar and whip on medium until light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix on low, continue to mix while adding the milk. Continue to mix until a dough forms.

Press the dough firmly into the prepared baking dish. Top with the apple butter and spread out evenly.

To make the crumble topping, mix together the oats, sugar, vanilla, flour, butter, and cinnamon. Mix together with your hands, crumbling the butter into the mixture and crumbling over the top of the apple butter layer.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into 8 or 16 bars. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BBQ Chicken Pizza a la Seriously Delish

I'm back with another recipe from the new cookbook "Seriously Delish" from How Sweet Eats and this time we are talking about pizza. BBQ Chicken pizza to be exact. We have been on a serious pizza kick here in the new house, making something about once a week, and yesterday I bought the last package of black mission figs at my local farmer's market, so keep a lookout for a possible sweet pizza coming up real soon! Meanwhile, I have been brought down by the bug this week. I get sick twice a year. Once in the spring when the first hot day of summer comes around, and again when the summer heat fades away and we are greeted with cool crisp mornings. And the mornings have been quite nice lately, which would explain my head cold. Luckily I have awesome co-workers who send me home to rest and an even awesome-r (not a word, I know) boyfriend who makes me soup and tea and makes me rest instead of cleaning dishes or doing laundry. So make this pizza while I'm sick in bed so I know that at least someone is eating delicious pizza instead of drinking hot water and ginger around the clock. 

BBQ Chicken Pizza

  • 1 pizza dough
  • corn meal for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 cups bbq sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 cup fresh corn, cut from kernel (could also use canned or frozen)
  • 1/2 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Prepare a large flat baking sheet of pizza stone by sprinkling corn meal all over it so that the dough doesn't stick.

Allow the dough to come to room temperature while the oven pre-heats and you prepare the chicken. 

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion and allow to cook and soften for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, chicken, and 1/2 cup bbq sauce. 

Stretch the pizza dough out into about a 15-inch circle. Place onto the prepared baking sheet or pizza stone and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and spread the rest of the bbq sauce all over the pizza (as you would with marinara sauce). Top with the shredded cheddar, then the chicken/onion mixture, the corn, and then the sliced jalapeƱo.

Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the crust is deep golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Let cool for 5 minutes before topping with the chopped cilantro, slicing, and serving. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sweet Potato Chipotle Cheddar Soup

Can I just tell you how excited I am for soup season?! I am soup's biggest advocate, and I love it in all shapes and forms. I like cold soup, I like hot soup. I like it when it's spicy, or mild. I like it by itself, or with an ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich. Last week I made this tomato soup with burrata, and this week I'm switching things up with a spicy kick to a somewhat traditional creamy soup, without any actually cream. That's my favorite part! The sweet potatoes break down and create all of the creamy texture you need, and the shredded cheese just melts perfectly. Do yourself a favor and serve this up on a cool night with some warm crispy bread. 

Sweet Potato Chipotle Cheddar Soup

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes (not yams), peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 6 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, minced
  • 6 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 green onions, sliced

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, celery, and salt, cooking until the onion is softened and starting to turn brown; stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cinnamon stock, mixing well to combine the spices, then add in the sweet potato and broth. Bring up to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and falling apart. 

Add in the chili and the vinegar before removing from the heat. Remove the cinnamon and stick and use an immersion blender (or work in batches in a standard blender) and blend until smooth. Stir in the shredded cheddar just before serving, allowing it to melt, and garnish with chopped green onions. 

Recipe slightly adapted from here.

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