Sunday, November 25, 2012

| beer & chocolate chili with a side of sugar cookies|

We're headed out this afternoon for our first Christmas event - a Hanging of the Green at our church, followed by a chili supper. We're taking my favorite sugar cookies ever (Yes, go ahead and click through. YES, you want to make these NOW!). We're also taking along this delicious and crazy-simple chili that we just ate at my mom's house last week. Don't know where she got the recipe, but I'll update if she lets me know.

The original name of the recipe was "three bean chili" but, truly, that hardly does it justice. So I'm rechristening it....

BEER & CHOCOLATE CHILI

6 cans of beans, rinsed and drained (I used a can each of black, pinto, white, garbanzo, hominy, and corn - yes, I know those last two aren't beans)
2 cans of Rotel (or one can of Rotel and one can of diced tomatoes if you want it less spicy), UNDRAINED
2 cans broth or beer (I used Guinness)
6 T chocolate syrup
2 T chili powder
1 1/2 T Cajun seasoning (make your own and please omit the salt OR use store bought - if you use store bought you need to use NO SODIUM versions of the beans or it will be way too salty - trust me on this, I like salt)

Put all in slow-cooker, and cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or 3-4 hours on high.  
Top with sour cream and cheese if desired.  Makes 8 large servings.

Monday, November 5, 2012

| favorite pancakes |

I have a love-hate relationship with pancakes. I love to eat them, but I hate how they make me feel after. I always feel gross. And I always end up hungry about five minutes later.

These pancakes from Moosewood are perfect for me. They are just the right combination of hearty and fluffy. They soak up syrup well. They come together quickly. And, best of all, they make my tummy feel happy and full - not gross and hungry.


Moosewood Whole Grain Pancakes
1/4 c whole flaxseeds
1/2 c rolled oats
1 c whole wheat flour (reg or pastry)
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
2 large eggs
1 c buttermilk or plain yogurt or Kefir
1/4 c olive oil
1 c water

1) In a blender, whir the flax seeds and oats until they're the consistency of corn meal. Or do like I did and just say, "Wait, the consistency of cornmeal? Couldn't I just use cornmeal and avoid this step?" Yes, yes you can.
2) Mix all the dry ingredients together in a big bowl.
3) Beat together all the dry wet ingredients with a  whisk or fork.
4) Pour the wet into the dry and stir until combined.
5) Cook the pancakes. NOM NOM NOM.

| substantial pumpkin muffins |

These are perfect straight from the oven and slathered with butter. I took a recipe from allrecipes.com and doctored it up. Really, you can do whatever you want in terms of various flours, fruit, oily ingredients, sweeteners. Just keep the amounts the same.

Yes, 24 muffins is a ridiculous amount of muffins. But this way you can use a whole can of pumpkin puree. And you can always freeze the leftovers.

SUBSTANTIAL PUMPKIN MUFFINS

1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (or raisins)

DRY:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
½ cup oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda         
1 teaspoon salt

WET:
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce
1/2 cup honey
¼ cup molasses
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin tins. Place the raisins/fruit in a cup, and add enough hot water to cover. Let stand for a few minutes to plump.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center, and put in the wet ingredients. Mix just until the dry ingredients are absorbed. Drain excess water from raisins/fruit, and stir in along with the walnuts. Spoon into muffin cups so they are about 2/3 full.
3. Bake for 22 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool in the pan before removing from cups.