Posts tagged #recipes

Entrusted Recipes: Mom’s Chili

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My most favorite time of the year is Fall. I’m the one who anxiously waits for the stores to bring out their pumpkin-spiced food and drinks, checking almost every day to see if anything is out yet. I’m the one who stalks Starbucks to see when they’ll bring back their Pumpkin Spice Latte – this year Starbucks even had a secret group where lovers of all things Fall could share their excitement.

I love football, wearing leggings and comfy shirts, cooler temps, pumpkin farms, and beautiful leaves. I love breathing in crisp, fresh air that smells like dry leaves. I love Fall so much that my husband and I were married in the Fall of 2006. And I love Fall so much that the paint colors and accents in our living room and kitchen are rustic earth tones that resemble Fall leaves. Yeah…I kinda like Fall.

With my love for Fall comes a love for Fall food – pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie, beef stew, mac and cheese, soup, and most of all, chili! But not just any chili. My mom’s chili. I’ve had many types of chili but my favorite is my mom’s recipe. And because I want others to enjoy her recipe as much as I do, I asked her if I could share it.

So here it is – the best chili you’ll ever eat. (Yes, I’m completely unbiased.)

Susie’s Chili

Ingredients

2 lbs. ground beef

2-3 Tbsp chili powder (to taste)

Salt and pepper (to taste)

1 medium chopped onion (if I don’t have onion, I use dried, minced onion)

1 large can tomato soup

1 can diced tomatoes (with chilies if you like more heat)

2 large (or 3 small) cans drained kidney beans

1-2 cups water (1 cup makes it thicker, 2 makes it thinner – in the picture of the simmered chili, I added 2 cups)

 

Directions

Brown the beef in a large pot. Add seasonings and onion. Simmer for a few minutes. Add tomato soup, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and water. Heat through for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Then simmer an additional 10 minutes on low. The longer it simmers, the better it tastes.

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 When it comes to how to top your chili, there are many options! My favorite is sour cream, cheese, and corn chips. My dad likes to top his with black olives. We also usually make cornbread muffins as a side.

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However you top it, it’s good chili. You’ll let out a contented sigh as you get comfy on the couch to watch football with a warm bowl of chili in your hands. I love it anytime of the year, but it’s even more delicious now that it’s Fall.

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Posted on September 21, 2018 and filed under Building Your Home.

Entrusted Recipes: Summer Salad with Brown Rice

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A little while back I stumbled upon a recipe video online where the chef put cooked brown rice on her salad. I had never seen such a thing done, but it looked so yummy that I tried it immediately. It was a game changer! I absolutely loved how the rice added new texture to my salad, and how much heartier it became. It is now my go-to for building a healthy and fast salad that can stand-alone for a meal.

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I usually throw together a random assortment of on-hand ingredients to build my salads, but I’ll share one of my favorite combinations. (Calling it a “recipe” is a bit of a stretch, I will admit...it’s more of a “suggested guideline”.)

The best trick I’ve found for incorporating brown rice easily into my diet is to cook a big batch over the weekend. We usually grill a bag of chicken breasts on weekends as well, to have on hand during the week. Having these two things in the fridge, along with a fresh bag of spinach, makes healthy summer lunches quick and accessible.

To make my favorite salad, start with a heaping fist full of lettuce in a large bowl. I like to use a spinach & arugula mix, but any combo of dark leafy greens that suits your taste buds is fine.

For dressing, I keep it simple and use olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt. Toss your lettuce in this mixture.

Next, top with a heap of brown rice. For all of these ingredients, you can use however much you like. I usually use about half a cup of brown rice. To me, it tastes fine even if it’s still warm from cooking, but it’s even better pre-cooked and refrigerated.

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That’s all you need for the base of a great salad!

For toppings, my favorite combination is:

  • cubed grilled chicken
  • sliced avocado
  • dried cranberries
  • chopped apples
  • sliced almonds & chopped pecans
  • and sometimes a little blue cheese
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This is definitely one of those recipes that you can experiment with, depending on what you have on hand and what suits you. But give the brown rice a try as you’re building—it might be just the healthy and hearty zip your salad needs for the summer.

Posted on June 6, 2018 and filed under Building Your Home.

Entrusted Recipes: Grammie's Caramel Corn

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My mom made caramel corn every Christmas season and I have to say it was by far one of my favorite holiday treats. I remember making it with her for several years. It was so addictive that we would end up devouring it before Christmas even arrived. She got smart and started hiding it and it would make its grand re-appearance closer to Christmas.

 

As we got older we realized what she was doing and I must confess, I started searching the house for it. (Did I mention it was addictive??) Well, I ended up finding her hiding spots and enjoyed every bite.

I wanted to share the recipe with you all—it’s super easy and sooooo delicious.

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1. You will need 6 quarts of freshly air popped popcorn. Set the popcorn aside in a roasting pan.

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2. In a medium saucepan melt 1 cup of butter, 2 cups of brown sugar, ½ cup of light corn syrup and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

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3. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes.

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4. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla. As you stir it in, it will puff up.

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5. Pour this over the popcorn. Stir it throughout the popcorn as much as possible.

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6. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

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Remove from oven and cool. Break apart and store in a tightly covered container. Hide if necessary. Enjoy!
 

Baked Caramel Corn

6 quarts popped corn
1 cup butter
2 cups of light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter; add sugar, syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Pour over popcorn in a large roasting pan. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Break apart and store in tightly covered container.

Posted on November 22, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Savory Poppyseed Crêpes

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I really enjoyed Laura’s authenticity last week in her post about Dinner Table Games. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one whose children come to the table whining and can’t stay seated! We highly value the practice of dining together in our family as well, but at times I have to admit I stare at the three rambunctious boys across the table—all embarking upon their own escapade of poor manners—and my eyes glaze over because I don’t know where to begin (and I’m shocked that more hasn’t penetrated their little minds by now)!

It truly is a time in which consistency is key… and unfortunately after a long day caring for the kids and cooking a nice meal, I just can’t train in my own strength. Thankfully I don’t have to do it on my own, but it is refining nonetheless!

As Laura alluded to, it is much easier to make sure your kids are excited about coming to the table for their dinners. Yet, I deeply want my kids to be adventurous eaters—and I want to eat like an adult! Sometimes I just pick my battles. Sometimes I come up with strategies. One trick that has worked for me is to make a grown-up meal for Travis and me, and “deconstruct” it for my boys. Here is one recipe I’ve created that seems to keep everyone happy:

Savory Poppyseed Crêpes

Ingredients:

Eggs
Milk
Water
Flour
Avocados
Sliced Beets (from a can or jar is fine)
Spinach Leaves
Goat Cheese
Chicken Breasts
Olive or Coconut Oil
Poppyseed Dressing

1.  Following a Crêpe Recipe (I follow Alton Brown’s recipe because he is a scientist and a chef, and I think he’s pretty great.), mix the crêpe ingredients together. You can do this in a blender, which is incredibly efficient when clean-up rolls around!

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2.  Put this in the fridge for at least an hour to let the gluten set.

3.  Begin cooking the crêpes. You will need to flip frequently, so stay near the burner! If you’ve made these French pancakes before, you can cook the chicken at the same time.

4.  Slice the chicken, and sauté in a pan with a drizzle of olive or coconut oil.

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5.  Slice the avocados.

6.  Begin assembling: Down the center of a crêpe, place a thin layer of spinach, add several slices of chicken, a few slices of beets and avocados. Next, crumble some goat cheese over the top to add some creaminess.

7.  Finally, drizzle some poppyseed dressing over the top.

8.  Serve with a favorite side dish. Roasted sweet potatoes pair well with this. I chose to serve it with a side of butternut squash soup this week.

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Okay… now for the kid “deconstruction” part! All you do is roll up a crêpe, and put the sides from above next to it! Maybe you’ll need to supplement with another veggie like carrots or peppers, but the ingredients are mostly the same, and the kids will be thrilled that they are having pancakes for dinner! Of course I allow a little drizzle of maple syrup to get those little feet running to the table! (Quick confession: I can only get one of my boys to eat beets so far!)

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Another win: I always double the batch of crêpes so I can use them the next morning for blintzes or breakfast crêpes with berries. If you want to do this the morning before, it will save you the hour of waiting for the batter to set before you can make dinner.

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Bon appétit!

Posted on September 13, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Entrusted Recipes: Key Lime Pie Cookies

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Every so often I get a hankering for sugar cookies. Not the ones that are a bit crispy around the edges but the ones that have more butter than sugar and well...just plain melt in your mouth.
I grew up with this yummy kind of sugar cookies my entire life. Every Christmas we would make cutouts with them and decorate with gobs of frosting, and every Valentine’s Day my mom would make giant heart cookies with frosting for each family member with our name on it.

Needless to say, the cookies went very quickly and unfortunately we only got them twice a year.

Last summer as I was craving a sugar cookie (it had been 6 months without a bite!), I decided it might be fun to create a variation so I would have an excuse to make them in the summer months; thus the Key Lime Pie Cookie was born.

They are super easy to make…

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Place butter and sugar in your mixer and beat until creamy. Add in the key lime zest and mix to allow the flavor to incorporate throughout. You can use either a lime or a key lime. (I have found it is easier to juice and zest a lime rather than a small key lime.)  

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Add in your egg and beat until creamy again and then add vanilla and lime juice and mix.

I have been using pure Mexican vanilla for about 7 years now in my baking and let me just say, it makes all the difference in the world.

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Mix your flour and baking powder together and slowly add to the mixer. The dough will eventually form into a ball and will not be sticky.

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Transfer the dough and roll it out to about a half an inch. Pick any shaped cookie cutter (even the top of a round drinking glass will work) and cut them out. I chose a star because I realized I had only Christmas cookie cutout shapes and that wasn’t going to work in summertime. Since the Fourth Of July is coming up, I thought the star would be very patriotic!

Place in the oven and make sure to not overbake. Pull them out before they get any color.

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Let them cool and in the meantime it’s time for the homemade frosting! You will never want to use another can after you taste this! So easy too!

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Beat the butter and key lime zest together in the mixer. After it becomes a little fluffy, add in powdered sugar and key lime juice, alternating until you get the taste and consistency you desire. Now, I like my frosting to be a bit more tart than sweet, so I discovered that adding a bit of fresh-squeezed lemon juice as well, gave it the tart I craved.

Frost those cookies and voila, you have a key lime pie cookie! Hope you enjoy!

Click here for a printable recipe card.

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Posted on June 21, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Entrusted Recipes: Spicy Sauteed Asparagus

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This year I’ve been making a concerted effort to eat cleaner and healthier, and avoid processed foods. This lifestyle does not come naturally or easily to me. I’d much rather grab a cold slice of leftover pizza out of the fridge and move on with my life. But as it turns out, cooking is necessary if you want to eat healthier. If I can’t get food out of a can or a box or a drive-thru, then I’m going to have to cook.

This recipe was born of desperation for a snack and not a lot left in the fridge. It was grocery day and I only had a few fresh foods in the house, one of which was asparagus. I was so hungry, all I wanted to do was cook it the fastest way possible. I ended up feverishly breaking it into small pieces over a hot-oil skillet, sprinkling some seasonings, and had a snack three minutes later. It was unexpectedly delicious! I’ve made it several times since as a side dish and have loved it every time.

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Serves 1-2

Ingredients:
2 T. Olive Oil
½ Bunch Fresh Asparagus
Crushed Red Pepper, to taste
Garlic (Freeze Dried), to taste
Sea Salt, to taste

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Pour olive oil in skillet and turn heat to medium-high.
  2. While oil is warming, rinse and pat dry asparagus.
  3. Bend asparagus over skillet to break stalks into small bite-size pieces, throwing them into the pan as you break them.
  4. Once all are broken into the pan, give the skillet a shake or stir with a spatula to evenly coat with oil and avoid burning. The asparagus should be bright green and sizzling by now.
  5. Shake a small amount of freeze-dried garlic and crushed red pepper into the pan and stir. (I used about ¼ tsp. of garlic and ⅛ tsp. of red pepper, but feel free to add more if you are a fan of spicy food).
  6. Sprinkle sea salt, to taste, and give another stir.
  7. Pour onto a plate and serve immediately.

The whole process from start to finish should take 2-3 minutes. Since you add the asparagus to the pan over the course of time as you break it, instead of all at once, some pieces end up brown and crispy, and others are more al dente. It’s a great mix. Altogether, you’ll know they are done cooking when they are all bright green and hot, but still crisp. Enjoy!

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Posted on April 5, 2017 and filed under Building Your Home.

Entrusted Recipes: Thanksgiving Appetizers

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Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays! There is much celebrating going on in the Zurowski household Thanksgiving week. My youngest daughter Bella and I have birthdays that fall right before Thanksgiving and for me on the actual day every seven years. You could say that I am a little partial to this holiday. My husband Mark and I love the traditions we’ve carried on from our childhoods and created new ones for our family as well.  

But let’s just pause for a moment about the food…seriously. Did you take a minute and think about the food?? The best food ever, the smell of turkey wafting through the house while there is a flutter of activity in the kitchen preparing all the other deliciousness. Of course the Macy’s Day Parade is blaring in the background and then we can’t forget about the football games! So many fond memories are wrapped around my heart in regards to Thanksgiving.

Today I would love to share a few of our favorite appetizer recipes I have collected over the years and added to our pre-Thanksgiving Day feast.

The first recipe I am going to share graced the appetizer pre-Thanksgiving table when I was just a little girl. My family cannot get enough of it!

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The next recipe is a timeless classic with a bit of a twist.

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The last one is always a crowd pleaser, and not just for Thanksgiving.

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Happy eating and have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Photo credit for adorable recipe cards: Laura Irion

Posted on November 9, 2016 and filed under Building Your Home.