Tag Archives: winter

Hearty Homemade Chili

Snow Again!?  That seems to be a common theme this ENTIRE winter.  The perfect dish to warm ya up is a hearty bowl of hot chili!

Chili is so versatile and most of the staples should be stocked in your pantry.  This time I even added a couple of ingredients and the brown sugar sweetened it up to entice my children.  If you don’t need to worry about young palates, then feel free to add some heat with hot peppers.  So get creative and fill up a big cup of chili to warm up this winter!

Hearty Homemade Chili

Hearty Homemade Chili

(double for a crowd)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 5 slices of turkey bacon, diced
  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 1 – 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, diced onion, etc.

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil.  Sautee the onion, green pepper and garlic until softened.  Add the bacon until it becomes crispy.  Add the ground beef until browned and cooked through.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Garnish with suggested toppings and serve piping hot in a bowl or cup.

What are you favorite toppings on chili?
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Acorn Squash Ricotta Tart

Simply Savory are two words to describe this tart made with Acorn Squash, Caramelized Onions and Ricotta Cheese.

Winter Squash Tart

It is the season for winter squash and there are so many different ways to prepare them.  This rustic tart is perfect for fall!  Wouldn’t it even make an impressive side dish on the table for Thanksgiving dinner?

The tasty, crumbly crust was easy to make and only used a handful of ingredients.  Using a food processor, the dough came together and was in my fridge within a couple of minutes – tops!

In the past, I have been turned off from buying winter squash because they can be difficult to handle, peel and cut when raw.  Today, I softened the squash by piercing it 4- 5 times, then placing it in the microwave for about 7 minutes.  The outside of the squash was slightly softened , which made it much easier to cut in half lengthwise.  Once it was halved, the seeds and strings were removed.  The squash could be sliced further and the skin removed.

Crust:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water

Place the flour, salt and baking powder in a food processor and pulse 2 times to mix the ingredients.  While the processor is running, drizzle the olive oil and water into the flour mixture.  The dough will start to form a crumble.  Remove and knead the dough together.  Form a disk and wrap it in parchment or wax paper.  Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Tart Filling:
1 acorn squash (or any winter squash)
1  red onion; thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 lemon squeezed
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
fresh thyme, salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 450°.  Cut squash into large diced pieces.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet in one layer.  Toss the sliced onion in the remaining olive oil and place next to the squash.  Salt and pepper the squash and onions.  Bake for 25 minutes.

While waiting, combine the ricotta cheese, lemon and thyme in a small bowl.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and press into a round 9″ tart pan.  Spread the ricotta mixture over the dough.  Once the squash and onions have been caramelized, remove from the oven, reduce the heat to 400°.  Place the squash and onion on top of the ricotta mixture.  Sprinkle with the cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 400° for 40 minutes until golden brown.

Rustic Squash and Carmelized Onion Tart

Pomegranate Chopped Salad

This salad is perfect for fall and winter because pomegranates are in season.  Since the summer, I have been trying to pick a “new” fruit or vegetable with my kids.  “New” which means we have never bought it, chopped it or cooked it before.  So I brought this fruit home and wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I searched the internet and decided that my approach would be to remove the seeds in water.

I really enjoyed the combination of sweet and tart in this salad and it was a big hit with my kids who are really not into eating green leaf salads yet.  This would make a beautiful salad for serving when company comes over for the holidays.

Sweet and Tart Salad

Dressing ingredients:

1/3 C fresh lime juice

1/3 C extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. sugar

Salad ingredients:

6 C. chopped greens (romaine, etc.)

1 Fugi or Granny Smith apple, cored and diced

1/3 C dried cranberries

1/3 C pomegranate seeds

In a small bowl,  whisk together all ingredients and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients.  Drizzle with dressing, toss to coat and serve.