Weeknight Dinners

Christmas Chili

It’s that time of year where we want and need a good meal, but our schedules are over flowing with activities and a good meal is hard to come by.ย  However, this recipe is basic and you can find it on the back of your McCormick White Chicken Chili season packet. We named it Christmas Chili because of the red and green bell pepper that we added. This meal is ready in under 20 minutes. Get ready!

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Ingredients

  • 1 large frying pan with high sides
  • 1 pound of organic chicken, cubed
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • salt and pepper for chicken on both sides
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 white onion or shallot, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed (we only had black beans this time)
  • 1 avocado for topping
  • 1 McCormick white chicken chili season packet

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Directions

  1. Sautee your onion and veggies in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 4-5 minutes until they are crisp tender. Add garlic last before adding the chicken.
  2. Next, cut your chicken into small cubes and fry them in your pan for about 6 minutes, or until no longer pink. Medium heat.
  3. Add the season packet and finish according to package.
  4. Let it thicken up and enjoy!
  5. We placed our white chili over jasmine rice.
Weeknight Dinners

Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas

Who likes easy dinner clean up?!

*Raises Hand*

Perfect recipe for weeknight cooking! Especially if you have tiny steak lovers! However, I would HIGHLY recommend grilling the flank steak over putting it under the broiler. The broiler worked fine, if you cook it 1-2 minutes on each side. However, it can easily become chewy and tough in a matter of no time.

Flank steak is not cheap. For a little over one pound, we paid almost $12.00. This steak is delish, but you need to be careful in how you cook it. This recipe was good – and the kids did eat all of their food. But watch that steak! Or grill it quick. You know, Wisconsin style. Shovel a path to your grill, then stand outside in flip flops.

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Two sheet pans is a must. Ideally, you want the veggies to get a little roasty and crunchy. They won’t do that if they are crowded! Keep the meat separate and the veggies in their own space.

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Ingredients:

Directions

  1. Preheat broiler with oven rack in the top position. Place a rimmed baking sheet in oven (leave pan in oven as it preheats).
  2. Combine oil, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, chile powder, and black pepper in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place steak in a bowl. Place bell peppers and onion in a bowl. Add half of oil mixture to steak; toss. Add remaining half of oil mixture to pepper mixture; toss.
  3. Carefully remove baking sheet from oven. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pepper mixture to pan; broil 10 minutes or until almost tender. Remove pan from oven. Move pepper mixture to sides of pan; arrange steak in center of pan. Broil 3 minutes or until steak reaches desired degree of doneness. Sprinkle cilantro and lime wedges over pan.
  4. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, sour cream, lime juice, and ground red pepper in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Serve sour cream mixture and tortillas with steak and pepper mixture.

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Holiday Favorites

Berry Good Chocolate Cake

The LAST issue of Cooking Light Magazine has this lovely cake recipe as it’s cover + feature for December. I’m so sad to see this magazine come to a close. This has been a staple in our home for many years. However, like with many things that have happened this year, when one door closes, another one opens.

I’m excited to see Cooking Light Magazine’s sister, Eating Well Magazine. Eating Well will continue to have some of the features of Cooking Light Magazine. Cooking Light will continue as an online pub, much like the rest of the industry.

Bitter Sweet.

As a jornalism major in college, print was my all-time favorite. Although my AP stylebook is quite dusty now, and my writing here on this blog is half an effort, I will miss holding this magazine, watching the pages become littered with notes, post-its and drops and drippings from recipes we’re trying. I’ve saved almost all of our Cooking Light Magazines and resort beack to them when in I’m in a rut. Thanks Cooking Light, you’ll be missed!

The cake recipe! Here it is! I’m giving you the cheat method because if you’re making this for tomorrow, you do not have time to make the full-on homemade chocolate cake that goes along with it.

Ingredients

  • Chocolate cake box mix (betty crocker is safe, we used the Devils Food flavor)
  • Glaze
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa (Vermont Nut Free or Nestle)
    • 1 oz semisweet chocolate chips
    • 2 tbsp milk
    • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
    • dash of table salt
  • Yogurt Cream
    • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup plain 2% greek yogurt
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • Fruit Topping
    • 1 cup fresh blackberries
    • 1 6oz container raspberries
    • 1 cup strawberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray two 8″ cake pans with non-stick spray
  2. Make your box of cake mix according to the package.
  3. Remove and let cool completely before moving on.
  4. Prepare glaze: combine the glaze ingredients in small sauce pan over low, stirring constantly for about 3 min. Cool slightly.
  5. Prepare the yogurt cream: place cream and powdered sugar in large mixing bowl and mix until stiff peaks form. Then add yogurt and vanilla and beat on high until well combined.
  6. Place 1 cake layer on a cake stand and top with yogurt cream leaving a 1/2 inch border. top with second cake layer. Carefully pour the glaze over the top, spreading to the edges and dripping down the sides. Arrange berries on top.
  7. Enjoy!

Serves: 16, Calories: 308

Holiday Favorites

Pumpkin Mousse

A few years ago I made a pumpkin mousse instead of a pie for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful. Since many of us don’t really care for pie crust, I decided to bring out this old recipe once again. It’s been a while, and if you follow my Instagram, you saw that I royally messed up this super simple recipe! Ended up fixing it and it turned out fine. Here is how to make it.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15oz) pumpkin
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup super fine sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • Ginger snap cookies for garnish, or graham crackers
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving

Directions

  1. Combine pumpkin, 1 cup of heavy cream, sugar and spice in medium sauce pan.
  2. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes and cool completely.
  3. Whip remaining whipping cream in your mixer with wisk attachment and 1 tbsp powdered sugar and 1 tbsp vanilla extract. Whip to form stiff peaks.
  4. Fold whipped cream into the cooled pumpkin mixture.
  5. Pour into individual cups and top with whipped cream or ice cream and ginger snap.
  6. Make sure to let these cool for a few hours in the fridge.
Holiday Favorites

Haricots Verts Casserole

Just a little twist on the classic green bean casserole – a staple at Thanksgiving tables tomorrow.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ingredients

  • 11 x 7 baking dish + non stick spray
  • 12oz haricots verts
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion / shallot
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken stock / vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp parmesian reggiano, grated
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Trim and blanch the haricots verts and place in the baking pan.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium hi heat
  3. Add the 3 cups of mushrooms and the onion or shallots.
  4. Cook until browned, about 6 to 8 minutes, stir occasionally.
  5. Add 1 tbsp flour, cook stirring constantly about 1 min.
  6. Add 1 cup of stock.
  7. Add 2 tbsp heavy cream
  8. Add sprinkle of salt and pepper, generously
  9. Cook and stir until thick and smooth about 1 to 3 min.
  10. sprinkle with 1/4 panko bread crumbs.
  11. Grate fresh parmesan over the top.
  12. Broil 1 to 2 min.
  13. Enjoy

Serving size is 1 cup. Calories: 171