Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cincinnati Chili - Recipe Hall of Fame

Am I the only one that struggles with spelling Cincinnati? I seriously cringe when I am going to spell it, and hope that spellcheck will help me through it! 
Anyway.....  The first recipe I tried from the cookbooks was for Cincinnati Chili. 
I have always heard of this, and never had the opportunity to try it.

This truly is a different chili than any I have ever tasted. As I was adding all the different ingredients, I was getting a little worried that we wouldn't like this "new to us" version. Cinnamon, allspice, unsweetened cocoa, bay leaves. I was quickly seeing why this chili was in a class of it's own. The other thing that makes Cincinnati Chili different, is that you don't eat it in "soup" style, in a bowl. You serve it over spaghetti on an oval dish (which I didn't have!). You can add on to it in different levels, there is a method though to stay in true Cincinnati fashion.  First, with cheese, and a side of crackers.  The next level is a spoonful of onions, added before the cheese.  Then the last, is to add warmed beans, even before the onions.

We both LOVED this.  The only thing I did different from the recipe was adding quite a bit of salt, and typically we add the bare minimum of salt. I hope that this doesn't offend the purist fans of this chili!  It really was so thick and savory. Definitely the most aromatic chili I have ever enjoyed.  The consistency was more of a meat sauce than a chili, to this Wisconsin girl. 
I think it would be great over a hot dog also.

On my low carb days I enjoyed this over spaghetti squash, and it was equally delicious!

Have you signed up for the chance to win the Recipe Hall of Fame cookbooks? Be sure to do that ASAP! You have until December 3rd to get it done!

Cincinnati Chili  

2 - 3 pounds ground beef
1 quart cold water
1 - 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder
5 bay leaves
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
2 cayenne peppers
1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
Salt and Pepper to taste (I used about 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper)
1 1/2 pounds cooked spaghetti

Optional toppings
Cheddar Cheese, grated
Oyster crackers
Kidney beans
Onion, chopped fine

 Add water to large pot. Crumble ground beef into the water. Add remaining ingredients (except for the spaghetti and toppings). Bring to boil. Stir often breaking up the meat. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Source: The Recipe Hall of Fame Cookbook

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Recipe Hall of Fame - Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

***Congrats to Sherri!  Enjoy your new cookbooks!***
I was so excited when my friends at Quail Ridge Press sent over their
"Recipe Hall of Fame 4-Book Set". These cookbooks truly contain the "Best of the Best"!

They have collected the best recipes from all over the country. Other cookbooks available are "Best of the Best" from each state, region, and more. Then... They took the BEST of all these and made these 4 books capturing the most delicious of all the recipes.

While I am making my way through these cookbooks, I LOVE that each recipe tells where it is from. I am a location junkie, and love knowing where my foods are made, where my recipes are from, and where things originate from.

Stay tuned this week as I share a couple of the recipes I had made, tested, and enjoyed oh so much.

I highly recommend adding this cookbook set to your collection, and while you can head right over to Quail Ridge Press and buy a set, you can also enter to win a copy right here!

How do you enter? 4 entries possible.

1.) Leave a comment below (or email me) with your email address. It's that easy.
Email address:

2.) Subscribe to my blog, you will find the box on the right hand side. 
Come back and leave another comment telling me that you signed up.

3.) Leave a comment on my facebook page telling me you want to win a copy of this cookbook.

4.) Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment telling me your all time favorite food.

Deadline: Thursday, December 3rd at 6:00 pm.CST
Winner: I will randomly choose a winner and announce it at the top of this post, and on facebook. The winner will also be notified via email; if the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.

Disclosure: I received a free set of these cookbooks to review, as well as one to giveaway.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rustic Turkey and Barley Soup

It's finally here! No, I am not talking about the snow, I am talking about soup season! I know we can eat it year round, and we do, but there is just something special about that favorite soup or chili, with some crusty bread or sandwich, on a cold, or snowy day.

I can't begin to tell you how much of this soup we have eaten in the last couple weeks. We are so in love with it. It's strange for Truckin' Man to be lovin' it so much, but I am not going to complain. It's packed with flavor, and so many good for you ingredients. 

You can change this up in so many ways based on what's in your pantry, too.
You can easily change this up to vegetarian, just skip the turkey and use a veggie stock.
No barley? Add rice.
Really love carrots? Add more.
Prefer kale? Add that instead of the spinach. 

Rustic Turkey and Barley Soup

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp oregano
40 oz chicken stock
1 cup carrots, sliced
1/3 cup barley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup red split lentils
1 cup leftover turkey, chopped
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped

Heat oil in dutch oven, or large pot, over medium high heat.  Add onions, and saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and oregano, cook for 2-3 minutes.  To the pot, add chicken stock, carrots, barley, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Add lentils and turkey, cooking for another 15 minutes, or until barley and lentils are tender.  Stir in spinach.  Taste and add more salt as necessary.

Adapted from: The Iowa Housewife

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Brrr... there is a chill in the air today, and fall foods are certainly calling my name!
If you are looking for a great fall dessert, and some time saving steps, 
you need to check out my Pumpkin Pie Cake!

It's such a favorite recipe of ours. The simplicity of making a cake, but the taste of Pumpkin Pie!

You can find the recipe over at Cynthia's blog on Feeding Big. Cynthia is taking a little time away, and some of her friends are helping her out with some of our favorite recipes. 

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Caramel Apple Bars

Sometimes the area we live in truly amazes me. We are so fortunate to live near many apple orchards. The variety of apples we have available to us within an hours drive has me completely spoiled. It makes for a fun weekend drive to head to the orchard, get some apples, 
and maybe even a baked good.

On our last apple outing, we went to an orchard we hadn't been to before. Why? Because my mother was RAVING about the cookies she had at the bakery of this orchard. Well, that's a tease if I ever heard one, so we had to go. Once we got there, and were waiting in line, I am peeking at the bakery case and already disappointed because I don't see any of these cookies. Not a one. We finally get our turn, and I ask the lady about these cookies... Oh yes, they have them, they are already bagged and ready to go. Apparently so popular, they don't bother to put them in the display case! 
They were  soooo good!

I wanted to try and replicate this cookie! I couldn't get the cookie the way I wanted it to be, but I was able to get it into a bar! Just in time for Fill the Cookie Jar!

If you are interested in joining Fill The Cookie Jar group on facebook, fill out the form that can be found at Fill The Cookie Jar. Each month we bake a different theme for the cookie.
We bake, we share and we enjoy our cookies!

Caramel Apple Bars

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 large apple, peeled and diced
11 ounces Caramel Bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9x13 pan with parchment paper, set aside. 
In large bowl, cream butter until light and creamy. Add both sugars, beating until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mix well.  In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, mixing until fully incorporated. Add oatmeal, mix well. Fold in diced apple and caramel bits. 

Press into prepared pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until light golden and set. Once cooled, cut into bars. Store in airtight container.

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