A blend of meat and beans with just the right amount of heat topped with melted cheese
A warm bowl of chili on a cold day is amazing. This chili recipe comes together very quickly and then simmers on the stove for an hour. I use two different kinds of beans in this recipe because I like the layers of flavor and texture that they add to the chili. Chili can be made ahead of time and reheated as needed. It’s great to serve when you know that people in your family will be eating at all different times. I also like serving chili on a buffet when there is a sporting event on so people can help themselves when they’re ready to eat and help themselves to seconds if they’re still hungry. If you are serving chili on a buffet put out toppings that will compliment the chili like shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, jalapeño, avocado and chopped tomatoes
It is important to sauté the onions until translucent and then add the ground sirloin. Once the ground sirloin is brown you should drain most of the oil from the pan before adding the spices. My chili recipe is a medium heat chili, you can increase or decrease the chili powder to suit your taste. I like to keep the ratio of chili powder to cumin as 3 to 2. The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of chili powder and 2 tablespoons of cumin so if you increase the chili powder make sure you increase the cumin. I suggest making the recipe as it is written and adjusting the spice after the chili has had time to simmer. The flavor will increase as the chili cooks.
Serve the chili with a little melted shredded sharp cheddar cheese on top and sour cream on the side. I like to serve the chili with a salad and homemade cornbread.
Vegetarian: omit the meat and use a third type of bean like white beans or you can simply increase the amount of pinto and kidney beans that are already in the recipe.
You can substitute ground turkey or chicken for the meat.
Add jalapeño to the chili to increase the heat
Add crumbled hot and sweet sausage to the meat
Corn will add color and flavor to the chili
Add chopped kale for a healthy kick
Chili will last for 5 days in the refrigerator and two months in the freezer. It reheats perfectly in the oven or microwave. It is a good idea to freeze the chili in portions so you can defrost it as it is needed.
mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, pepper, sugar together
in a seperate bowl whisk together milk, egg and melted butter
mix wet ingredients ito dry ingredients
grease an 8×8 pan and pour in batter
bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top
You can use this recipe to make muffins as well. If you want the muffins to be a little sweeter increase sugar by 1/4 cup and do not add the pepper.Some variations:Add chopped jalapeno to create a little spice or dried cranberries to make the cornbread a little sweeter.
Living in NYC I love to walk in Central Park and eat a big, hot salty pretzel. Soft pretzels are sold by street vendors all over the city and are best eaten hot with lots of mustard. The pretzel was originally created in Germany by a Monk around 610 A.D. They were called ‘pretiola’ which translates to ‘little reward’. The monk would give the pretiola to children as a reward for learning their prayers. The twisted shape of the pretzel is meant to resemble a child’s arms crossed in prayer.
I have spent a lot of time perfecting a recipe for homemade soft pretzels at home. The dough comes together very quickly but does require a rise of about an hour in order to create a pretzel with the right texture and consistency. I like to make these pretzels with my daughter Olivia. It is a lot of fun to roll out the dough and shape them into pretzels. It is essential to boil the pretzel for 30 seconds in water and baking soda before baking them in the oven. This step is what creates the slightly chewy texture to the soft pretzel and prepares the outside to crisp up in the oven. Please note that you should add the baking soda to the water first and then bring it to a boil. Adding the baking soda to boiling water will cause the water to boil over and will make a mess. Trust me on this one, it’s not pretty. After boiling the pretzels, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and allow to dry for a few minutes before brushing with egg wash and sprinkling on pretzel salt. You can make the dough into pretzel shape or nuggets, both work well. It is important not to crowd the pretzels when boiling them. I only boil one or two at a time. Also, do not boil them for more than 30 seconds. Boiling the pretzel for too long will alter the taste because of the baking soda. These pretzels are best eaten fresh out of the oven while they are still warm. You will have freshly baked pretzels that are absolutely addicting. You can wrap them in foil and place in an airtight bag in the refrigerator for up to two days. Reheat the pretzels in a 350 oven. They will be good but they will not be as good as when you eat them the same day
Can I top my pretzels with other toppings?
Yes, you can top the pretzels with a variety of toppings, savory and sweet. I like to use pretzel salt on some and everything seasoning on the rest. You need to buy pretzel salt which is a specialized salt. It is not the same as coarse salt. Pretzel salt is white and has less sodium than coarse salt. You can also sprinkle grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on the pretzels when they are almost done baking so that the cheese melts on the pretzel. If you would like to make the pretzels a little sweet I would add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the dough and sprinkle the pretzels with cinnamon and sugar when they are half way through baking. You can serve the sweeter pretzels with chocolate and caramel dipping sauce.
These enchiladas are quick and easy to make and are much healthier than traditional enchiladas. I buy the rotisserie chicken at the supermarket and use the white and dark meat in the recipe. I do not use the skin. I load up the filling with corn and black beans in addition to the chicken. This allows you to add layers of healthy flavors in the enchiladas. The homemade enchilada sauce is so easy to make and is much better than store bought. I have a few variations of enchiladas that I make depending on whether we are in the mood for chicken, meat or only vegetables. The dish can be altered to fit your taste so feel free to experiment. This is a perfect mid week meal to make since it will be ready in under an hour and if you make the enchilada sauce ahead of time then the enchiladas will be ready in 20-25 minutes.
Can I make the Enchiladas Vegetarian?
Yes, you can leave out the chicken and add in chopped zucchini, yellow squash, spinach or broccoli. Just make sure you blend all the ingredients together in a pan before filling the tortillas. You can also serve them as all bean enchiladas and substitute the meat with kidney beans. I would not add seafood to this recipe. I do have a great recipe for Baja Style Fish Tacos that I will be sharing later on.
Can I make the Enchilada’s Ahead of Time?
You can make the enchilada sauce a day or two before and heat it up when you are ready to make the enchiladas. This will cut down on the prep time before dinner. The sauce can also be frozen for a month. You can roll the enchiladas earlier in the day and refrigerate, do not top with sauce and cheese. When you are ready for dinner, top with enchilada sauce and cheese, cover with foil and bake in oven for 15 minutes at 350 until warm.
What Should I Serve with the Enchiladas?
I like a crisp green salad like romaine with tomatoes and a simple red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing. An easy Mexican rice is also perfect to serve with this. Sauté a cup of chopped onion in a tablespoon of butter until translucent, add uncooked long grain rice and cook as directed but substitute a quarter of the water with the enchilada sauce. When the rice is done toss in some green peas and allow to heat up in the rice.
This quick and easy enchilada recipe can be ready in 30 minutes. Serve with Jenn’s Spanish style rice.
Minestrone soup originated in Italy and translates to “big soup”. This is because typically it is made with an abundance of vegetables. Minestrone is a hearty vegetable soup that is made with a base of carrots, onions and celery. It also has pasta mixed in with the vegetables. Typically the vegetables used are whatever is in season. Sometimes the soup is very chunky and other times it is slightly thinner.
This Minestrone soup recipe could just as easily be called a Vegetable Stew. I add tons of broccoli, carrots, white beans, yellow squash and pasta so it is quite filling. Serve a smaller portion as an appetizer or a larger portion as a main dish for lunch or dinner. I love the spice that the pesto and touch of chili pepper add to the dish. I only put a touch of red pepper in the soup but you can add more if you like your food spicier.
This Minestrone Soup is super healthy. It’s loaded with vitamins and there is very little oil and absolutely no butter. The depth of flavor comes from the vegetables, spices and tomatoes simmering together. Feel free to add other vegetables to the soup like peas, string beans or kale. Use what you have in your refrigerator. The minestrone soup will be ready in about an hour and a half. You need to give it the time for all the flavors to come together. You will absolutely love the way your house smells when you are making this soup. My kids always come into the kitchen to see what’s cooking. I refrigerate the leftovers in individual portions so it is super easy to pop a bowl into the microwave for a healthy lunch or dinner.
You can refrigerate the vegetable soup for five days or put it in the freezer for up to two months. It is always a great idea to keep some soup in the freezer so you have a healthy meal to serve on a cold night.
I am so excited to share this with you! I have been experimenting with a chocolate bread recipe. I wanted to come up with one that was a combination of brioche and babka. A sweet, but not too sweet, dough layered with just the right amount of semi sweet chocolate. Of course the chocolate bread also had to have a crumb topping. If we are going to go for it well then let’s go for it. I used my cinnamon roll recipe as the base of the dough but added an additional egg yolk, some vanilla extract and a little extra butter. So should we call this Babka, Brioche or Briochka? The dough is softer and fluffier than a typical babka, more like a brioche but it is cut and twisted like a babka so really I guess Briochka is probably the best name.
The result is a buttery, sweet brioche style bread with layers of chocolate running throughout. It’s sweet but not too sweet. The chocolate filling for the babka is made by melting butter and semi sweet chocolate morsels and then mixing in confectionary sugar and cocoa powder to make a chocolate paste. The paste is then spread over the rolled out dough before the dough is rolled. The technique is very similar to cinnamon rolls but we cut the roll in half instead of slices. Each half will fit in one loaf pan. The half is cut vertically and then twisted before being placed in a loaf pan sprayed with baking spray or greased with butter.
How do I prevent gaps in my babka?
No one likes large gaps of air between their layers of babka. There are a few ways to prevent this.
Roll the dough slowly and tightly. Pull the dough slightly back as you roll forward.
Spooning a little half and half over the dough after the second rise will help keep the layers together
Brush top of dough with egg wash before sprinkling on crumb topping
Let bread cool for 15 minutes in pan before you remove babka to cut
Can I Use a Different Filling in the Babka?
Yes, you can fill the dough with several different fillings. Spread Nutella over the dough before rolling or try raspberry jam or cinnamon, butter and brown sugar. You can also add chopped walnuts or raisins if you like. Be creative.
Pasta with Chopped Tomatoes, Black Olives, Capers, Fresh Mozzarella
This is one of my favorite pasta dishes. I used to eat it almost every Sunday night at Grazie. I also always keep the ingredients in my refrigerator in case I have a craving. This pasta dish is one of the original ones put on the menu in the early 1990’s. I have had many requests for the recipe so I hope you enjoy making at home as much as we enjoyed making it for you at the restaurant. The flavors balance each other so perfectly in this dish. I love the contrast between the sweet grape tomatoes and the salty capers and black olives. I like to use a lot of garlic in this dish. I slice the garlic clove in thin slices and then light brown them in the oil before adding the tomatoes, black olives and capers. The flavors all combine together with the vegetable broth to make the most delicious tomato sauce. This pasta is perfect to serve in the Summer or Winter. It is an interesting take on a vegetarian pasta. Linguine Amalfi also makes great leftovers. My nieces Kayla and Alexa love saving a little so they can reheat it a day or two later. I must admit that I definitely agree with them. The sauce seeps into the pasta and makes it so delicious. If I leave a bowl of Amalfi in my fridge I watch it disappear because my family loves heating up a bit as a snack. You can just spoon some into a bowl and a quick 2 minutes in the microwave and you have lunch, dinner or an afternoon snack.
My lunch the next day. Linguine Amalfi sprinkled with grated parmesan. See how the parmesan sticks to the pasta? So good….
You can prepare this pasta in a matter of minutes and your whole family will enjoy it. I also recommend serving it when you have company coming over. The colors look so beautiful on the plate and the ingredients are vegetarian friendly. I would love to hear your comments.
Linguine with tomatoes, capers, black olives, fresh mozzarella
Course: Main Course, pasta, lunch
Keyword: pasta, vegetarian
1lblinguine – I prefer Rustichella D'abruzzo brand
2 tbspolive oil
4cloves garlic – peeled and sliced thin
1pintyellow and red cherry tomatoes – cut in half
½cupkalamata olives – pitted and cut in half
6ozfresh mozzarella – cut into cubes
4leavesfresh basil – chiffonade
½cuppasta cooking liquid
ground black pepper to taste
Cook linguine according to directions
In a large pan add olive oil
Saute garlic until light brown on both sides
Add tomatoes, capers, basil and olives and saute for a few minutes
Add vegetable broth, pasta liquid, tomato paste, butter and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes
Add linguine and toss well
Add fresh mozzarella, toss and serve
You can buy Rustichella D’abruzzo brand pasta on Amazon but you can use whatever brand you prefer. My nieces, Kayla and Lexie, also love this pasta reheated the next day after the sauce has been absorbed by the pasta. Top the pasta with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese