07th Nov2013

Throwback Thursday: Homemade Potato, Corn and Shrimp Chowder {In the Kitchen}

by Daenel

Originally posted: 8 November 2012

Have you ever wanted to eat something so badly that you thought about it all day long? That’s how I was the other night. I wanted Shrimp and Grits with Fried Chicken. Desperately. So I quickly drove home and, guess what? No grits anywhere in the house. So I started thinking and thinking and thinking and when I finally accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to get in my car and drive back in to town just for some grits, I decided to make chowder. Best decision ever. Here’s the recipe, I hope you agree.

Potato Corn and Shrimp Chowder {Living Outside the Stacks}

What you need:

  • 1/2 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cans Corn, drained
  • 6 strips Bacon, crumbled
  • 4 cups Red Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Milk
  • 1 tbs Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper

What you do:

  1. Place potatoes, corn and onions in a large pot with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  2. While potatoes simmer, combine butter, milk and flour in a saucepan over medium~low heat and cook until smooth and thick. Stir constantly.
  3. Pour milk mixture into the cooked vegetables, add the bacon and shrimp. Cook until the shrimp is no longer opaque.
  4. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now you eat

  • Can be eaten as is or you can add shredded cheddar cheese

If you make it, let me know how you like it!

Daenel T

15th Mar2013

Coffee Talk {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

Coffee Talk {Living Outside the Stacks}

Hi, and welcome to Coffee Talk. In case you’re new here, this is where I share some of the great and not~so~great stuff that I find on the web. Topics range from news stories that leave me scratchin’ my head to DIYs that I think are absolutely clever.  And there may be a recipe thrown in here or there just for fun.

1. Two weeks ago Terrilynn Monette was out celebrating her “Teacher of the Year” nomination, within a few hours she would vanish without a trace. There’s so much wrong with this story that it’s hard to find the beginning…

Monette was last seen celebrating with friends at Parlay’s, a bar in the Lakeview area of New Orleans, LA. After drinking and having a good time, Monette told her friends she was too drunk to drive home, so she was going to sleep it off in her car. side eye at thefriends” Later, a bar tender would tell the police that he had to “cut her off” because she’d had too much. giving the bar tender the stink eye as well Around 4 AM, Monette was seen talking to an unidentified male, who was questioned and released by the police. She has not been seen since.

Soooo, these are the problems that I have with this story:

  • Monette’s friends were OK with her “sleeping” in her car even though she was reportedly drunk?
  • In New Orleans? By herself? Really?
  • The bar tender couldn’t call her a cab since she was so drunk he had to cut her off?
  • We have another story of a missing black female who isn’t getting any of the press coverage that missing white females receive I hate making this about race but if this were a white girl, we’d be getting hourly updates, just saying

If you have any information, please contact the New Orleans Police Department at 504.821.222 or Texas EquuSearch at 281.309.9500.

2. And in news that I sincerely hope is a joke, Lady Gaga is riding around in a 24~karat~gold~plated wheelchair. blank stare This fancy schmancy wheel chair also has a cushy leather seat and a canopy that kinda resembles the ones you see on baby carriages. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I know being over the top is her “thing” but seriously?

3. Every so often, I get a little itch do some crafting. Really, there’s nothing like wearing something that you’ve created with your own two hands. I also have the attention span of a gnat so when I make stuff, I need to see it all come together rather quickly. So if you’re anything like me, this diy beaded necklace from my friend and fellow blogger, Chandra at a stylish little lady, is perfect! Isn’t it adorbs? And you can wear it with just about anything. Suh~weet.

4. And speaking of sweet, who wants chocolate chip cookies? raises hands, jumps in the air, and does everything else to call attention to the fact that I love chocolate chip cookies My friend, Lisa at It Keeps Getting Better is sharing her recipe for The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever. My finders fee is, of course, some freshly baked cookies.

What had you talking this week?


Please feel free to join me on Facebook or Instagram where we celebrate Fist Bump Friday, which gives you the opportunity to share your good news with everyone!

07th Mar2013

Thursday Likes {In the Cafe}

by Daenel

I thought I’d try something new on Thursdays; instead of just posting a picture and linking to my flickr account, I thought I’d share a couple of things I’ve found while surfing the web. These may be links to products I think are cool, blog posts I find interesting, or outfits I absolutely love… I hope you’ll find these things as interesting as I do.

Thursday Likes {Living Outside the Stacks}

1. Coffitivity ~ When I work, I like having a bit of ambient noise to help get my mental motor going. I also used to like working in the coffee shop before I started working in the library. I liked the hum of conversation, the smell of freshly brewed coffee, and the warm comfy feel of that was my local coffee shop; this website evokes those feelings. All you do is play your music slightly louder than the sounds of the simulated coffee shop. So cool.

2. Kleinworth & Co. ~ I don’t know what’s more nom worthy, Gina’s pictures or her recipes but let me tell ya, you will be drooling when you look at her blog, so wear a bib. Her recipe for Blueberry Pie Bars will have you running out to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients.

3. Women Need to Say ‘No’ More ~ I shared this article from Christianity Today with one of my church groups because I think it’s important that women learn the power of the word “No” for their own spiritual, physical, and psychological protection. No one should feel pressured to take on more work than they can handle or accept unwanted help from a stranger because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings by saying “No”. That one word could save your life.

And a few things from me that you may have missed:

What did you find interesting this week?

Disclaimer: Unless explicitly stated, I don’t receive any compensation for anything I’ll be promoting on this post. I’m just sharing ‘cause that’s what I do.

30th Dec2012

Chicken Noodle Soup with Cheddar Drop Biscuits {On the Table}

by Daenel

Have you ever roasted two whole chickens because your family swore up and down they were starving and then they only ate like half of one so you’re left with all of this chicken and you’re thinking what do I do with this? That’s what happened to me last week. I had one and a half delicious fresh roasted chickens sitting in my fridge; I didn’t want to toss it and I wasn’t in the mood for more roasted chicken. So I started thinking and thinking and thinking and it hit me: Chicken Noodle Soup. And a side of Cheddar Drop Biscuits. My family was all kinds of excited and I was too.

Chicken Noodle Soup and Cheddar Drop Biscuit Dinner {Living Outside the Stacks}

Naturally, I had to share the recipe with you, so here it is:


For the Soup

  • Roughly chopped roasted chicken (seasoned well; I used 1 and 1/2 chickens)
  • 3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 box Stelline pasta
  • 4 cups chicken broth (to make your own by boil chicken, vegetables, seasoning; strain and retain the liquid)

For the Cheddar Drop Biscuits

  • 2 1/4 cups Original Bisquick mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


For the Soup

  1. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a large pot
  2. Add vegetables. Boil for about 15 minutes. Add Stelline Pasta and chicken, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat and let sit for 20 minutes so that the flavors blend.

For the Cheddar Drop Biscuits

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl
  3. Drop by the spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet
  4. Bake 8~10 minutes or until golden brown

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve hot with the biscuit in the bowl
  • You can also sprinkle the soup with Parmesan Cheese
  • To up the flavor factor on the biscuits, add a smidge of garlic powder

If you make it, let me know how you like it!

15th Nov2012

Banana Bread with Cranberry Trail Mix Crust {On the Table}

by Daenel

My kids love bananas. In fact, they love them so much that bananas rarely last long enough for me to make banana bread. So on those rare occasions when the bananas do start to get overly ripe, I jump at the chance to put some bread in the oven. Only this time I didn’t have any baking soda or baking powder… What to do? What to do? How about use what you have on hand?

So, here you go, Banana Bread using self~rising flour…

 Banana Bread with Cranberry Trail Mix Crust {Living Outside the Stacks}

What Ya Need

  • 6 Very Ripe Bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups Self~Rising Flour
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 cup Cranberry Trail Mix

What Ya Do

  1. Preheat oven to 325º
  2. Cream together butter, eggs and sugar until smooth.
  3. Add bananas and vanilla. Beat well.
  4. Pour into a bread pan (this makes 2 loaves).
  5. Sprinkle with trail mix.
  6. Bake in oven for 1 hour.

Now Ya Eat

  • Can be eaten warm
  • My daughter puts peanut butter and honey on hers

If you make it, let me know how you like it!



08th Nov2012

Homemade Potato, Corn and Shrimp Chowder {On the Table}

by Daenel

Have you ever wanted to eat something so badly that you thought about it all day long? That’s how I was the other night. I wanted Shrimp and Grits with Fried Chicken. Desperately. So I quickly drove home and, guess what? No grits anywhere in the house. So I started thinking and thinking and thinking and when I finally accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to get in my car and drive back in to town just for some grits, I decided to make chowder. Best decision ever. Here’s the recipe, I hope you agree. Potato Corn and Shrimp Chowder {Living Outside the Stacks} What Ya Need

  • 1/2 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cans Corn, drained
  • 6 strips Bacon, crumbled
  • 4 cups Red Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 cups Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Milk
  • 1 tbs Lemon Juice
  • Salt and Pepper

What Ya Do

  1. Place potatoes, corn and onions in a large pot with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
  2. While potatoes simmer, combine butter, milk and flour in a saucepan over medium~low heat and cook until smooth and thick. Stir constantly.
  3. Pour milk mixture into the cooked vegetables, add the bacon and shrimp. Cook until the shrimp is no longer opaque.
  4. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Now Ya Eat

  • Can be eaten as is or you can add shredded cheddar cheese

If you make it, let me know how you like it!


25th Oct2012

Yummy Spoon Bread {On the Table}

by Daenel

I’m not a big baker. It’s a time thing. But i do love myself some bread. And I do I love to cook. I especially love to try new recipes. This hasn’t always been true, when the hubs and I first got married, I couldn’t boil water. Not kidding. Could not boil water. At all. As in I actually burned the pot that I was boiling the water in because I forgot about it. Then one day, I woke up and it was like I was seeing the stove for the first time…

Anyway, the other day I was planning to make some cornbread to go with our ribs and got to thinking, how about what if I do a little something~something to it? This is what I came up with…

Yummy Spoon Bread

What Ya Need

  • 2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 cans creamed corn
  • 2/3 c milk
  • 1/2 c Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 c Shredded Colby Cheese

Spoon Bread Ingredients {Living Outside the Stacks}

What Ya Do

  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Stir until ingredients are wet, the batter will be lumpyDon’t over mix.
  3. Pour into a greased cast iron pan. Maybe I should have said that first, before you start on this recipe, make sure you have a cast iron panThey are the best pans ever.
  4. Let sit in the pan for about 10 minutes before putting in oven for 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.


Spoon Bread {Living Outside the Stacks}

Spoon Bread {Living Outside the Stacks}

Now Ya Eat

  • Serve warm. With a spoon. Because, well, it’s Spoon BreadGet it?
  • After it cools, you can slice it and serve just like cornbread.

Spoon Bread {Living Outside the Stacks}

It really is delish. Do you eat Spoon Bread? Have you ever made it before? What did you do differently?

30th Sep2012

Things I’m Looking Forward to This Fall {About Me}

by Daenel

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it never hurts to say it again, “I love sweater weather!” Fall is by far my favorite season of the year. I love snuggling up with cozy sweaters, eating comfort foods and watching my favorite TV shows. “Hell on Wheels“, anyone? But there are a few other things I’m looking forward to this Fall, some are old and some are new, either way I’m looking forward to everything that Fall has to offer:

1.  Seasonal Coffee Flavors

Coffee {Living Outside the Stacks}
Oh sweet coffee! Not just the regular flavors but the seasonal ones like Salted Caramel Mocha. I’m so not a Pumpkin Spice Latte fan. Going to coffee houses to get my fix can be pretty expensive, so I searched high and wide for a recipe that I could make at home and I found one at Raves, Faves & Must Haves. ‘Cause that’s what librarians do, we find stuff.

2. New Boots

Boots {Living Outside the Stacks}

My favorite pair of boots finally kicked the bucket. I adored those boots. I wore them with everything ~ skirts, dresses, jeans, etc. I even wore them after the uppers started to crack and the layers started to peel. I drew the line, however, when water started seeping through the cracks and getting my feet wet. So now the search is on for the perfect replacement…

3. Feathering the Nest

Globe {Living Outside the Stacks}

Since moving to Missouri, the hubs and I have discovered that we enjoy antiquing and checking out second hand shops. In fact, every weekend for the past few weeks, he and I have gotten up bright and early to check out some of the local shops. We enjoy finding pieces that will will fit into our new home. I’ll show you more of our purchases in a later post, a little hint: that globe was our latest purchase.

What are you looking forward to this Fall?

16th Apr2012

Tortellini with Squash {Meatless Monday}

by Daenel

Tortellini with Squash {Meatless Monday}

Now, I’m not even gonna pretend that I’m one of those people who minces my own garlic and grates my own Parmesan. I don’t. I use jarred garlic that’s already been minced and I use a lot of it. I’m also not very particular about the measurements. Dump and stir is the only way to go. Add a little and just keep going ’til your eyes roll back in your head and a whispered “Mmmm” escapes your lips. Deal?

I made Tortellini with Squash for my family a few nights ago and we all agreed that it stays in rotation. It’s light, filling and can be eaten steaming hot or at room temperature. If you’re a mother, you know that’s generally the temp of your food by the time you get to eat. So let’s get to it:


1 package tri~color Tortellini

1 Yellow Squash (sliced)

1 Zucchini (sliced)

Minced garlic

Olive Oil


Freshly Ground Pepper (OK, this is the one thing I do insist upon, there is nothing like freshly ground pepper)

Parmesan Cheese


1. In a pot of salted water, cook tortellini according to package directions.

2. While the tortellini is cooking, coat the bottom of a saucepan with olive oil and heat on medium high. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 or 2 minutes), add the yellow squash and zucchini. Cook an additional 5 minutes (cook longer if you don’t like crunchy veggies).

3. When tortellini has finished cooking, drain but reserve 1 cup of the cooking water.

4. If you’re fancy, you can pour the tortellini into a bowl but my family is hard core, everything goes back into the cooking pot so….  Return tortellini to the pot, add in the veggie/garlic mixture, stir in reserved liquid to keep pasta from sticking. You may not need all of the liquid but you can keep it on hand to use to reheat the tortellini later if you need to do so.

5. Once you’ve placed the tortellini on a plate, add freshly ground pepper and Parmesan cheese.

If you try it, let me know what you think. I’d also be interested in knowing how you adjust the ingredients/recipe for your family.

21st Dec2011

On the Table: Parmesan Crusted Chicken

by Daenel

This is quite possibly the juiciest chicken ever. And I do mean ever. You will thank me for this. You will want to shower me with money and love and all sorts of accolades for this recipe. But, really, all I ask is that you come back and let me know how your family liked it.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Parmesan Tomato Pasta and Green Beans

Please note that I’m a dump and stir kinda cook, so I very rarely have exact measurements. Anyway, Big Momma always said “Real genuine cookin’ comes from the heart and the heart just knows…”


10 Chicken Thighs (you can use breasts or strips)

1/2 jar Hellman’s Mayonnaise (yep, I used half a jar, you may not need that much)

2 rows Ritz Crackers, crushed fine (I love Ritz Crackers as a replacement for bread crumbs)

1 package shredded Parmesan Cheese



Garlic Powder




  1. Preheat the oven to 450°
  2. Spray glass dish with nonstick spray
  3. In a large bowl, mix the mayo and the cheese
  4. In another large bowl, add crushed crackers and dry seasonings, blend well
  5. Dip rinsed and dried chicken into the mayo and cheese mix, make sure it’s well coated, then dip into the cracker and seasoning mix
  6. Place in glass baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes or until juices run clear
  7. Let sit for 10~15 minutes before serving

If you try this recipe, please let me know if you like it. Thanks and happy eating!

Disclosure: I didn’t receive any compensation for this post. I just think Ritz Crackers are ~ hands down~ the best substitute for bread crumbs and Hellman’s was my mayo of choice for this recipe.

01st Dec2011

On the Table: Italian Wedding Soup

by Daenel

Google Friend Connect is disappearing soon, but I’d love for us to stay together. You can read my blog in your favorite reader through my RSS feed, join the conversation on Facebook or chat with me on Twitter. Make sure you give a shout out and let me know you’re there!

For dinner tonight, I decided to surprise the hubs and make one of his favorite meals: Italian Wedding Soup. It’s an easy and inexpensive meal that’s both filling and comforting, especially on chilly evenings.

Italian Wedding Soup

1 lb ground beef
2 lightly beaten eggs
¼ cup crushed Ritz Crackers (I know, right? So good though)
2 tbs grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
4 cups thinly sliced Escarole
2¼ cups uncooked Stelline
⅔ cups sliced carrots

  1. In a medium bowl, combine meat, eggs, cracker crumbs, cheese, basil and seasonings; shape into ¾ balls.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the broth to a boiling; stir in Escarole, Stelline, carrots and meatballs. Return to boil, then reduce heat to medium.
  3. Cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

I usually serve my Italian Wedding Soup with garlic bread (a nice Caesar salad will also round out the meal quite nicely). Let me know how you like it.

10th Oct2011

Meatless Monday: Crockpot 4 Bean Chili with Rice

by Daenel

Crockpot ChiliSoooo, the family survived the first round of Meatless Monday!  I’m so incredibly proud of them.  I fully expected a lot of grumbling and sneaking of meat but the kids were all over that Spinach, Tomato and Cheese Tortellini (click here for the recipe).  In the interest full disclosure, the hubs was out of town, so it was pretty easy to get the kids on board.

Tonight, the hubs is home (cue screams, wails and shrieks)…

We’re having Crockpot 4 Bean Chili with Rice.  We have to have rice with our chili, that’s a mainstay in this family.   Here’s the recipe that I used:

  • 15 oz can Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • 15 oz can White Kidney Beans
  • 15 oz can Black Beans
  • 15 oz can Pinto Beans
  • 11 oz can Mexican~Style Corn (I used a small can of corn because someone ~ the hubs ~ isn’t a corn fan.  I know, right?)
  • (2) 16 oz jars salsa (your favorite flavor)
  • 2 cups water
  1. Drain the beans and pour into the crockpot.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  2. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours
  3. Serve over rice with sour cream and shredded cheese, if desired.

I adapted the recipe from one that I found on the Meatless Monday website (click here to see the original recipe).  Speaking of Meatless Monday, did you know there’s a whole website dedicated to Meatless Monday?  Yep, I didn’t know there was this whole Meatless Monday movement.  I’m one of the cool kids!  Anyway, you should definitely check it out for some culinary inspiration.


03rd Oct2011

Meatless Monday: Spinach, Tomato and Cheese Tortellini

by Daenel

Spinach, Tomato and Cheese TortelliniRemember a while back I said that the family and I were going to try going meatless on Monday once we settled into our new environs?  Yeah, well, I’d totally forgotten about it too until I ran across a recipe for Spinach, Tomato and Cheese Tortellini in this month’s All You magazine.

The recipe was submitted by Lori Merrick (I don’t know who she is but darned if this wasn’t delish and the kids loved it).  Here’s the recipe as she submitted it, I’ll put in bold the changes that I made:

  • salt and pepper
  • 1 20 oz package dried cheese tortellini
  • 1 TBS olive oil (vegetable oil, no olive oil in the house)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (didn’t have any)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms  (family doesn’t like)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cups lightly packed baby spinach (used frozen)
  • ¼ cup low~sodium chicken broth
  • grated Parmesan (used shredded mozzarella)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook tortellini for 10 minutes or as package label directs.  Warm oil in a large skillet over medium~low heat.  Add garlic and red pepper and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Raise heat to medium, until tender, about 4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and sauté 2 minutes.  Pile spinach on top and cover.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until spinach has wilted, about 3½ minutes.  Pour in broth, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  2. Drain tortellini, add to skillet and stir gently to blend.  Serve in bowls.  Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

FYI:  I doubled the recipe so that I’d have enough for a side dish with tomorrow’s dinner.  I’ve found that when I make the standard serving size that I have leftovers but not enough for everyone so I end up making another starch and veggie.  This, I think, should be more cost effective.

I asked the kids how they enjoyed going meatless and if this is something they’d be willing to try for the rest of the month and they thought it was a great idea.  They’re very excited about the prospect of trying new foods while not giving up the family faves.  And I’m happy because my family will be eating more vegetables and shifting towards a healthier lifestyle.

Have you ever tried going meatless?  Do you have a favorite meatless dish that I can try with my family?

08th Dec2010

Day 21: A Recipe for Pork Loin Stuffed with Dried Fruit

by Daenel

Stuffed Pork

Pork Loin Stuffed with Dried Fruit and Spinach Stuffing

2 Pork Loins
1 Package Spinach
2 tsp Olive Oil
2 c Bread Crumbs
1/2 c Dried Apples roughly chopped
1/2 c Dried Apricots roughly chopped
1/2 c Dried Figs roughly chopped
1/2 c Golden Raisins
1/2 c Raisins
Basil to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350° F.  Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat, add dried fruit and spinach to pan and heat through. Add the bread crumbs. Season with salt, pepper and basil to taste. Keep stirring (if needed, add a little more olive oil to keep food from sticking).
2. Take half of one pork loin and place on foil, add a layer of stuffing mix, cover with other half of pork loin.  Repeat with second pork loin.  Wrap in foil and place on cookie sheet.  Bake until meat thermometer shows roughly  160° F.

Note: I generally cook by eyeballing things, using these measurements fed my family of 6.  For pictures, you can check out Flickr.

18th Nov2010

I Want Chili!

by Daenel

Texas~Style Chili

This morning I woke up at 4:30 thinking about chili.  Yes, you read right, chili.  As in I desperately wanted some chili right then and there.  No, I’m not pregnant or anything, just slightly off my rocker.  So I grabbed my cookbook and started hunting for a quick and easy chili recipe.  Here’s where I have to give a big ol’ shout out to my mother~in~law, I never would have bought my own cookbook and I was pretty offended when she gave this one to me, now I’m grateful.

Texas~Style Chili*

Nonstick cooking spray
1 lb lean boneless beef chuck, cut into pieces
2 c chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbs chili powder
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
2 1/2 c reduced~sodium beef broth
1 c prepared salsa or picante sauce
2 cans (16 oz each) pinto or red beans (or one can of each), rinsed and drained
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 c nonfat sour cream
1 c chopped ripe tomatoes

1. Spray Dutch oven or large saucepan with cooking spray; heat over medium high heat until hot. Add beef, onions and garlic, cook and stir until beef is no longer pink, about 5 min. Sprinkle mixture with chili powder, cumin, coriander and oregano; mix well. Add beef broth and salsa, bring to a boil. Cover, simmer 45 minutes.

2. Stir in beans; continue to simmer uncovered 30 minutes or until beef is tender and chili has thickened, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in cilantro. Ladle into bowls, top with sour cream and tomatoes. Garnish with pickled jalapeño peppers, if desired.

*Recipe comes from One Dish Recipes/Secrets of Slow Cooking (now out of print)

I serve my chili with rice, how do you serve yours?

05th Jul2010

Product Review: POM Wonderful

by Daenel

Five months ago I had the opportunity to review POM Wonderful pomegranate juice and I loved it!  In fact, I made my first smoothie with POM Wonderful and my kids loved it.  So when I got the opportunity to receive more of the juice, I jumped.  Rather than making another smoothie, I decided to make rice pudding with it.  Yeah, I know!  Rice pudding, yum.

Rice pudding makes a delicious breakfast dish and is a great substitute for cold cereal. Or can be a nice dessert, serve cold with a dollop of whipped cream.

Rice Pudding
1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
1 cup quick~cooking brown rice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup skim milk
2 medium~size cooking apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/4 cup raisins or cranberries
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large egg
Nutmeg or granola for garnish

1. In a medium~size saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the water, the POM Wonderful pomegranate juice, rice and salt; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender. Add the milk, apples, raisins (or cranberries), sugar and cinnamon; return to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

2. Beat the egg and the remaining 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Stir about 1/2 cup of the rice mixture into the egg, then stir the egg mixture into the saucepan and simmer for 1 minute, stirring. Sprinkle with nutmeg or granola if desired. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Makes four 1~cup servings.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe found in the Reader’s Digest Live Longer Cookbook. You can find more recipes by going to the POM Wonderful website (click here).  For information about the health benefits of POM Wonderful, go here.

Disclosure:  I received the POM Wonderful samples free from POM Wonderful in exchange for a review.

26th Jun2010

Fruity Bread Pudding Recipe

by Daenel

A few weeks back I mentioned that my children surprised me by loving bread pudding.  In fact, Miss 16 sent me a text requesting the bread pudding instead of cake for her birthday.  Anyway since my post, I’ve been getting requests for the recipe.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to make another one so there aren’t any pictures to go with the post but I wanted to share the recipe with you all anyway.

I tweaked the recipe a bit to fit my family’s taste (they love dried fruits) so I encourage you to do the same.  Please stop back by and let me know what you think after you’ve tried it.

6 Slices of day old bread (I use hard rolls)
2 TBS butter
1/4 Cup raisins and/or cranberries
1/4 Cup dried apples, figs, apricots (diced)
4 eggs (beaten)
2 Cups milk
3/4 Cup white sugar
1/2 TSP ground nutmeg
1/2 TSP ground cinnamon
1 TSP vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Break bread into pieces into a greased baking dish. Drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with dried fruits.
3. In a mixing bow, combine eggs, milk, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour over the bread. Using a fork, push bread down until it is completely moistened (if you don’t get it moistened completely, the bread will be hard!).
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

Serve warm or cold. This is terrific as a breakfast food or a desert. You can also add walnuts or pecans for extra oomph.  And never ever forget the coffee!

This recipe was adapted from a combination of recipes in Live Longer and allrecipes.com

01st Feb2010

This Week’s Menu

by Daenel

Since I had so much success last week with Menu Planning, I’m doing it again this week.

Sweet and Spicy Vegetable Stir-Fry

Pork and Butternut Squash Stew

Fish Chowder

Chicken and Rice with Steamed Broccoli

Lasagna stuffed with Spinach

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