Friday, August 12, 2011

Foodie Friday #1 -Chili, Corn bread and S'mores bars

Well, lately it seems I have more time to experiment in the kitchen than I do to make crafts.  So, I have decided to make Fridays "Foodie Fridays" where I will share with you all something I have done in the kitchen lately.

And now, without further adieu...

Awhile back, my husband and son went on a boys camping trip with my father-in-law, brothers-in-law and nephews on my husbands side.  Chloe, my oldest girl, was sad that she was left out (she is the only girl besides my 10 month old Hailey).  So I decided to make some "camping" foods for us too.  We had hotdogs once, but that's boring so  I'll share our other meal -chili, corn bread and s'mores bars.

The only problem is... I didn't have a camera when I made it (my husband took it to camp), so I took a picture the day they got home of the leftovers.... I did take a photo of the chili and corn bread but it seems it has been accidentally deleted... not a very good start for Foodie Fridays.  And I am a bit ashamed to admit that this was all the dessert that was left after only 2 days.

I was never a fan of chili growing up, but a year or two ago someone from church made this recipe for a potluck and I LOVED it!  I love this recipe because it is very versatile.  I don't think I have made it exactly the same twice and it is still delicious!  And ... what would be the opposite of labor-intensive?  Huh, I'm stumped.  Labor unintensive?  Anyway, you get the idea -fast, easy, stress-free.

The recipe I have is as follows:
3 lbs ground beef (browned and drained)
1 jar pasta sauce
1 jar salsa
1 can tomatoe paste
1 can mushrooms
1 can beans with maple
2 cans kidney beans
lemon pepper and chili powder to taste

I throw it all together in a crock pot on low for 6-8 hours (or on high for 1-2 hours and then to low if I don't have as much time).  Or you could cook it in a pot to heat it all up and then just keep it warm in a crockpot.  I like it to cook longer on low because I think it gets a better flavor.

Here's the versatile part:
I never buy the small jars of pasta sauce or salsa, so I just guestimate an amount from a larger jar.  Or sometimes I don't have store-bought pasta sauce on hand, and I have used canned tomatoes (either crushed or diced, blended with an immersion blender) and sometimes add spices like basil, oregano, salt, onion powder, etc.  I don't keep lemon pepper in the house -but a squirt of lemon juice and some pepper works for me.  And I don't always buy canned beans because they are more expensive here than dried.  But I have used kidney beans or black beans.  I have dried black beans that I cook in my slow cooker a bunch at a time and then freeze them in ziplock baggies for later.  To do that go here.  How's that for an easy-going, laid back recipe?  It's like I can't mess it up no matter how many things I do to it!  

Then I made some delicious corn bread in muffin tins.  Thanks to Katie from This Chick Cooks for the fabulous recipe!! 

The S'mores bars were super easy.  I just pressed chocolate chip cookie dough into a pizza pan and baked for 5-7 minutes.  Then top with coarsely crushed graham crackers, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips and bake another 5 minutes (until marshmallows start to get puffy and golden).  You can drizzle with chocolate sauce if you want -I thought that might be too sweet.  Also, I have heard of people using Golden Grahams cereal but I thought that was too sweet too.  These were delicious!

And there you have it -camping indoors! Well, the food part anyway. 
Thanks for joining me for my first ever FOODIE FRIDAY.  Hope you come again next week! 

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