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Blog Posts (61)

  • Green Chicken Chili

    This is the second time in the past week I have spent (way too much) time on a dish that I wasn't even sure we were going to like. The first time around was homemade gnocchi. I had never had it before and of course my thought process...why not spend a couple hours making it? Thank goodness, it was freaking delicious and a hit for the family! This time around, it was White Chicken Chili. I asked Josh if we liked it, and he reminded me that a girlfriend Jade dropped a bag of it off after we had Lyncoln - and we in fact did like it. That was all I needed to go for it on my own. And quick shout out to the people who drop food off for other people - is there a great way to show your friend love? If you look up white chicken chili there are so many recipes, especially many in crock pots. I put a few different recipes together to our liking and came up with this recipe. I served it with "street corn" tortilla chips for dipping alongside of homemade cornbread. Truth be told, both the chili and cornbread were delicious, but I probably wouldn't do the combo again. But the chips and chili combo are a must! All this talk about White Chicken Chili and this recipe is called Green Chicken Chilli. What kind of confusion is this? Well, the recipe is more in line with the traditional white chicken chili except the peppers in the recipe make it green. But don't let that scare you. One, I am not a fan of most "green sauces" so I must note this is not like any other green sauce I've ever had. Two, the recipe is not spicy! If you're looking for more heat, just amp up the jalapenos! We all know my picture taking skills are at about a zero, so don't judge this recipe based on the picture. I promise you it's so much more delicious that how it appears. But do feel free to judge away and that no-so appetizing swirl of sour cream. I need help - jeesh. Ingredients 3 Tablespoons of olive oil 1 Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped 6 Cloves of Garlic, Minced 2 Poblano Peppers, Seeded and Finely Chopped 1 Jalapeno Pepper, Seeded and Finely Chopped (add more if you want to amp up the heat) 2 Teaspoons of Cumin 1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder A large Pinch of Salt & Pepper 1 Rotisserie Chicken, Chunked and/or Shredded 6 Cups of Chicken Broth (this stuff is my go-to) 1 Brick of Cream Cheese, softened 2 Cans of Butter Beans, drained 8 oz Salsa Verde Optional Toppings: Shredded Cheese Avocado Sour Cream Directions: Heat olive oil in a large pot (I used my favorite Dutch Oven). Add the onions and cook for about five minutes. Stir in the garlic, peppers & seasonings. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until peppers are tender. I used this from Pampered Chef to chop my onions - simple, quick and amazing! Add in the chicken broth & salsa Verde and simmer for 30 minutes. This is optional, but I used an immersion blender to blend it together to hide the pepper evidence from my family (mainly, Josh). I think it gives the chili more of a soup consistency which I love! Add in the softened cream cheese and simmer until it is melted and incorporated. This tool from pampered chef is my favorite for mixing! Once the cream cheese is completely melted and mixed in, you can add in the shredded chicken & beans. Continue to simmer until the chicken and beans are heated. Once it's served, top with your favorite toppings And, don't forget chips for dunking - they are so good! Note: I have zero affiliation with pampered chef, just sharing what I love!

  • Homemade Pizza - Three Ways

    This isn't your mom's homemade pizza from back in the day. Well, maybe it is. But it isn't the homemade pizza from my childhood - no offense mom or dad. Pizza back then was pizza crust out of a tube smooshed into a 9 x 13. And don't get me wrong it has nothing to do with the tube crust. There is always a time and a place for the tube. The problem was that it created a doughy pizza crust. And I am not here for that... thin & crispy all the way. Actually, sometimes semi crispy is a mood too. But soft doughy pizza is not a mood. You might want to come back to this when you're really in the mood because it is going to be jammed packed with all my pizza thoughts! First, you need a solid crust. This is my go-to crust using regular flour. Ingredients: 1 and 1/3 cup of warm water (think of warm like a baby's bottle warm) 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of yeast 1 tablespoon of sugar 2 tablespoons of olive oil 1 teaspoon of salt 3 and 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and an absolute must, yellow cornmeal for dusting the pan and an option I love, Seasonings! Feel free to mix in some seasoning that match your pizza dreams. You can never go wrong with a good Italian seasoning! Directions: Whisk the warm water, yeast and sugar together. You can start this process by hand in a mixing bowl or in your stand mixer with a dough hook. I personally love doing it by hand. Cover the water, yeast and sugar and let rest for about five minutes. You are looking for the yeast to activate and getting foamy. If this doesn't happen after five minutes, it may take a little longer with the temperature in your kitchen (colder = longer) Once the yeast mixture has been activated, add in the olive oil and salt. Mix around. Add in flour. If you're doing this with the mixer you can mix it together on low speed. If it becomes too much you will need to take it out and knead the dough on a floured surface. If you're doing it by hand, you will want to mix it until is incorporated and a dough is starting to form. Then take out and knead on a flour surface for five minutes. Once you've kneaded the dough and created a soft dough ball, you can place the ball in a lightly greased bowl (the same one you started in works perfectly). Gently toss the ball around to make sure it is fully coated in oil. Place plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel over the bowl (I generally just use a plate on top of the bowl)! Let the dough rise for 60 - 90 minutes or until it's doubled in size. Remember, the colder your kitchen the longer it takes! When your dough has doubled, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Favorite part! After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down to let the air out. Divide the dough in half for two 12-inch pizzas (or divide it more for smaller pizzas). Roll the dough out on a slightly floured surface using your hands and rolling pin. Dust your pizza stone with cornmeal and transfer your round pizza dough to the stone. Using a form, poke quite a few holes around the dough to prevent air bubbles when baking. Bake for 5 - 7 minutes. This time depends greatly on your oven. At this point, you are just partially baking the crust. Starting to brown around the edges is ok, but you are not looking for a golden crust! Now that you have parbaked pizza crust, you have a few different options. But before we get into those options... here are a few notes about the instructions. If you don't have a dough whisk, you should consider getting one. They have them all over amazon, but I snagged this one from The Food Nanny. I can dream that one day Junky Janko Market will have one! I love mixing by hand, this is a recipe that you need to enjoy making. I personally think that the stand mixer takes a little away from that. Put a little love into the crust! I've made all sorts of sizes. Personal sized pizzas are perfect for the girls. A medium size for McKinley or I and then the shareable/Josh size. Make whatever size is best for your family! Yellow Corn meal is a must. Do not skip this. While it serves a great purpose of preventing the dough from sticking to the stone, the greater purpose might be the little (sweet) crunch it adds to pizza crust! Back to the three options you have now with parbaked crust: Make pizza right away. You've created your canvas, now get to assembling your favorite pizza. While skies the limit with pizza creations, one rule in this house is that olive oil and chopped garlic must be put onto the crust prior to red sauce. Homemade frozen pizza. In my experience, it's always worked best to let the parbaked crust cool and then flash freeze. Once the crust is frozen, you can assemble your pizza however you desire. Obviously, if you're going for a fresher style pizza - now isn't the time. Check option 3 for that! Once you've assembled your pizza wrap it up really good in plastic wrap and freeze away. Tip: I have also put the plastic wrapped pizza into gallon or jumbo size zip lock bags for extra protection. I will tell you that I made four frozen pizzas the first time around and Josh and I swore we would never buy a frozen pizza again. Seriously, whatever frozen pizza you have lived by in the past will not be a contender for homemade frozen pizza. Parbaked Pizza Crust. While these require a little more effort than taking out a frozen pizza and tossing it in the oven, they have their purpose. They are perfect for the fresher style pizza. You know, the ones with baby spinach and arugula! But in this house, they get the most love when they are used for "round two recipes." Parbaked pizza crusts are the perfect dumping grounds for your leftovers.... here are some staples around here. Left over taco meat turned into taco pizza Left over chicken turned into a barbecue pizza Hello mac and cheese pizza And... equally important, don't forget nights where you feel like stepping outside of the box. Josh wanted BLTs for dinner one night & instead I made a garlic aioli for the pizza base and topped it with cooked bacon and parmesan cheese. Once it was out of the oven, I topped it with shredded lettuce and a drizzle of olive oil. Final note: every aspect/step of your pizza should be seasoned. You can season the crust, season the base, season the toppings and top it at the end. And two things about seasoning. One, I am not talking about salt. Two, a little goes along way. You are just trying to elevate some ingredients, not trying to take over the dish/pizza. Here are some ideas: Dough - Italian seasoning Crust - olive oil and garlic Sauce - jazzing up your traditional red sauce with some basil Lastly, think about how you could top the cooked pizza, this is where you could add some salt - especially something like a flake sea salt. Or, if you want to be wild a drizzle of Mike's Hot Honey! As I keep typing "Final Note" I realize there is more to be said. If you're reheating leftover pizza in the microwave, you're doing it all wrong. Get a frying pan on the stove top with a medium to high heat. Let it heat up a little and then throw your leftover pizza in the pan. The hot pan and heat gives the pizza crust the opportunity to get crispy again. Once it crisps up nicely, put a few drops of water on the outside of the pan and throw a lid on. The steam will generate enough heat to melt your toppings. This is seriously a game change in the lef over pizza world!

  • No Churn Homemade Ice Cream

    Ice cream is the real deal. But the problem is that not all ice cream is created equal. When you have the option to choose a half gallon from the grocery store or this homemade goodness, I have zero doubts which one you will choose. And, while ice cream can seem complicated to make - this recipe couldn't be any simpler. Which is also why I stand by my zero doubts statement. Are you wondering how homemade ice cream can be so simple? The answer is in the churn. Back in the day (ok, kind of a joke - but not really) most homemade ice cream was created using a base of egg custard. Which like most types of curds, is similar to walking on eggshells around a toddler who is on the verge of a meltdown. Once you got done tip toeing through the custard making, you had to have some sort of an ice cream maker that would churn the ice cream for a while! Now... don't get me wrong, this ice cream is delicious -however, it just requires more attention and time than I have. End ramble. Back to the churn. This recipe only requires 3 ingredients, no heating & no churning. Plus, if you've been around here a while you know I love a recipe that is like a blank canvas. Is there anything better than being able to tweak a recipe to you and your family's liking? This is just that. I will tell you what we did, but... really, the options are endless. Let's kick off with what you need and how to make your blank canvas... Ingredients: 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream 14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk Vanilla Extract (or if you're fancy, Vanilla Bean or Vanilla Paste) Directions: Whip the Heavy Whipping Cream with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold in the can of sweetened condensed milk & vanilla. If you're going for the straight up vanilla ice cream, you will want to transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe dish. You don't want to risk freezer burn, so you will want to make sure whatever you are using has a decent lid. Think Tupperware, or if you're invested in ice cream making you can get an insulated tub! But wait, we're not done! If you want to jazz up your ice-cream you will want to mix in your goodies after step 2 but before step 3. Our favorite variations, which McKinley choose for her birthday party was 1/3 cup salted caramel ice cream topping, almost an entire bottle of magic shell & a bunch of chopped up candy Rolos. Note.... being from Wisconsin and surrounded by Culvers, it should be easy to come up with variations! If you need some inspiration, which I'm sure you don't because who would... but in case you do, go check out their flavor of the days and get creative at home!

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