White Bean and Chicken Chili

 

NFLfemale.comYou’ll be seeing this tag occasionally on my recipes. I’ve been invited to be a the food/homegating writer over at NFLfemale.com. I’m extremely excited about the opportunity to share Bakerlady deliciousness over there, and the chance to work with a really fantastic group of women. Head over and check out a sisterhood of women who love food and football. They have a great time supporting their teams and each other!

 

Given that football is a raging passion in my life, a passion only matched by my loathing for ambient air that’s sticky and too hot, it’s no wonder autumn is my favorite season. And it’s here! Imagine me pulling out bins of sweaters, boots and multi-hued leafy decor right now. Dancing around rejoicing that overnight the temperature has returned to a nice healthy 65-ish with some rain. Ah rain. I’ve missed it horribly. I’m such a Seattleite. If I see 85 degrees again before July of next year, it will be too soon. Plus, there’s that glorious crisp in the air that tells folks in the Pacific Northwest that cool evenings and foggy mornings are ahead. Am I the only one who adores fog? I so enjoy watching the sun break over the evergreens, the rays cutting through a blanket of misty foggy beauty. Yeah. That’s good stuff. If it happens to be game day? All the better. Football is just better with some weather thrown in.You know what else is fantastically fall like? Chili. Nothing puts the topper on a good blustry autumn day than a hearty, chunky bowl of chili. With cornbread and a pat of melting honey butter. Mmmmmmm.

White Bean and Chicken Chili - Bakerlady

I love all forms of chili, but my favorite is this chicken and white bean version. It comes together quickly for a great weekday meal, and is a nice departure from the typical beef and kidney bean variety. A little lighter for the transition from summer to fall. Full of tender chicken with a good strong kick of chilis and cumin swimming in a fragrant broth. As it simmers away, it fills your home with a rich spiced aroma that will have you counting down the minutes until a steaming bowl hits the table. Dinner should announce itself and draw all your family from the corners of the house, sniffing the air asking “What’s cooking? It smells amazing!”. This chili does exactly that.

White Bean and Chicken Chili - Bakerlady

You’ll be the homegating MVP if you whip up a batch of this chili for a football party. Does your blood run cold as your team gives up a 4th quarter lead? This stuff will warm you back up. Stress eating as your gridiron boys mount a seemingly too last-minute comeback? Fill your belly with this chili and hang on for the ride! Go Hawks!

White Bean and Chicken Chili - BakerladyPrint Recipe for White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean and Chicken Chili
a Bakerlady Original

3 (15 oz.) cans white beans, rinsed and drained (any white bean will work just fine)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large chicken breasts (2 1/2 pounds)
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (4 oz.) cans roasted green chilies, drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Garish: sour cream, green onions, shredded cheese

1. Cube the chicken. In a large saucepan, brown over medium high heat in a little olive oil. 2. Remove the chicken to a plate and in the same pan, saute the onion until just softened. 3. Add the garlic until fragrant (about 60 seconds). Add 1 cup of the broth and use it to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot.
4. Puree one can of the rinsed beans with a little bit of broth and add to the pot. Then add the other two cans of beans, the broth, the cooked chicken, corn, all the spices and chilies.
5. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer 1 hour.
6. Serve topped with sour cream, cheese and sliced green onions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roasted Zombie Eyeballs (Sweet and Spicy Meatballs)

I know it’s not even October yet, and you may be thinking “Nooooo! I’m not ready for holiday posts!”. I won’t tell you that there’s less than 100 days until Christmas. Nope. Not gonna share that info. But, for the next month I will be sharing my favorite Halloween party foods. Halloween is on a Friday this year, so there’s sure to be ghoulish parties galore. I always plan parties way in advance and the menu is the first thing I get settled. All the party recipes I’ll be sharing have gross names – perfect for Halloween party food. However, take away the little disgusting name cards and you have terrific appetizers for your next non-Halloween party too! If you can’t wait a full month to get your food all settled, you can check out my great big Halloween post from a few years ago, but be aware that there are no easily printable recipe links there — just links back to the places I originally found the recipes.

To start off our devily delicious party food, we have Roasted Zombie Eyeballs. You can make your own meatballs, or just buy some packaged/frozen ones. The secret is in the sauce. You’d never guess that grape jelly and chili sauce would combine into such a devilishly delightful combination! The spicy kick in your eyeballs depends greatly on what brand of chili sauce you use. Start with half the called for amount and adjust to taste. I keep mine warm in a crock-pot on the food table. Good food signs are absolutely essential when renaming for maximum grossness.

Roasted Zombie Eyeballs - Bakerlady

These meatballs (sans gross sign) make a great appetizer for football parties as well. Everyone loves a spicy and sweet meatball!

Print Recipe For Roasted Zombie Eyeballs

Roasted Zombie Eyeballs
from Food.com

3 -5 lbs frozen cooked small meatballs or 3 -5 lbs Little Smokies sausages
1 (32 ounce) jars grape jelly
2 (12 ounce) jars chili sauce ( I use Heinz Chili Sauce. Remember to start with half the amount and increase to taste.)
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions

In a pot combine the grape jelly with the chili sauce; add in the meatballs and simmer for about 45 minutes uncovered or until the sauce has thickened.

Knock Out Panda’s Orange Chicken

You know it. I know it. Orange chicken is absolutely delicious. This is not exactly earth shattering, breaking news. It’s tangy and sweet, with a little hit of spiciness. Mmmmm buddy. Try not to lick your screen.

Not a Knockoff...It's a Knock Out Panda's Orange Chicken - Bakerlady

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Fried Zucchini Batter

This is a super simple, very adaptable recipe to batter veggies for frying. I used zucchini, but it would work with just about anything you want to dip in a light batter and fry to airy crisp perfection.

Fried Zucchini Batter - Bakerlady

I ate these babies with (gasp!) no dipping sauce. The batter wrapper was perfect for me. They’d be great with some ranch though.

Fried Zucchini Batter - Bakerlady

This is the best batter I’ve ever used for frying up some deliciousness. The cornstarch makes it absolutely light as air.

Fried Zucchini Batter - Bakerlady

Yup. Fan-freakin-tastic!

Fried Zucchini Batter - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Fried Zucchini Batter

Fried Zucchini Batter
adapted from Food.com

3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup water
1 egg

12-15″ long zucchini cut in 1/3″ slices or rounds

Directions
In medium mixing bowl mix all the above until smooth. Dip sliced zucchini in batter and fry in 1/3 inch hot oil till golden brown.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

I came upon this recipe while trying to find a way to use up some leftover potatoes. Often I chop them up a little and throw them into a saucepan as hash browns to have with breakfast. Or I use them to make Bubble and Squeak. I found this recipe, calling for baked potatoes strained thru a ricer, mixed with egg and flour to make a dough, and was intrigued. But with no idea how to actually say the name of the thing I was making.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

If you had been a fly on my wall listening to my pitiful attempts to pronounce “gnocchi”, you’d have been horribly embarrassed for me. I pronounced the “g” sound, and instead of saying “key” for the cchi, I said “chee” like the start of cheese. It was really sad. My husband laughed right in my face and asked what on earth I was saying. If you are interested, here’s how it is supposed to sound. And, how my kids responded when I taught them how to say it. Talk about blind leading the blind.

 

Gnocchi comes in many varieties and have been around since the days of the Romans, when soldiers would mix a semolina porridge-like dough with eggs.  Since I’m fairly certain the Roman legions didn’t go around with ricers in their tunics, I thought I could probably figure out a way to make these without one too. Even if it is a potato variety. Romans didn’t own Cuisinarts either…but I do! I tossed my leftover potatoes in there and started whirling away.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Pulse until no lumps remain. Then with your clean hands, combine the potato mash with  two egg yolks, some salt and flour.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Until you have a firm, but still a little sticky dough.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Cut into four even pieces and roll each into a long rope.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Using a pastry cutter (or knife) and a fork. Cut into small pieces and then press with the fork to make ridges.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. These can be boiled and served immediately, or frozen on a cookie sheet then transferred to a plastic bag in the freezer for up to a month. At this point, they reminded me of butter mints.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

You need two burners going to cook these babies up. One for the water so you can boil your little potato pasta gnocchis. And one for everything good in the world to get down in. Butter, garlic and Italian parsley hanging out. You know that’s gonna be good. Let the butter melt, then toss in the garlic and parsley just as the gnocchi dumplings start floating.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Dunk your gnocchi into the pot of boiling water. They’ll bob up to the surface as they cook. Let them go another minute or two (no longer!) and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

And transfer them to your butter/parsley/garlic pan. Swish the pan around to get them all coated nicely (this should take under a minute).

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Slap those gorgeous babies into a bowl, sprinkle some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and go to town. Every little nugget is perfectly soft and wrapped in flavor. Like a cheesy, fragrant pillow of buttery goodness.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

The original recipe said this makes 4 servings. They must be serving dainty little princess eaters. I ate half the recipe single-handedly. If you are serving this as a first course, you could probably get away with a smaller portion. But as a main dish, you’d need to double the recipe to get 4 servings, unless you’re friends with really tiny people. Or, keep it simple and just eat all of these yourself. I won’t judge.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese
adapted from Food and Wine

2 pounds leftover potatoes (about 4 – enough to yield about 2 cups flesh)
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Garlic, minced finely
Italian parsley, chopped

Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes (or in your food processor). Transfer 2 slightly packed cups of riced potatoes to a bowl. Stir in the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the 1/2 cup of flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges; transfer to the baking sheet.
In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Toss garlic and chopped parsley into the butter just before adding the gnocchi. Using a slotted spoon, add the gnocchi to the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Make Ahead The uncooked gnocchi pieces can be frozen on the prepared baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting.

Fried Mozzarella Bites

I had a few won-ton wrappers hanging around after making my totally amaz-balls Sriracha and Cream Cheese Wonton Bombs. Not enough of them to make another batch (drat!), but plenty to not want to waste them. While wondering what to do with them, a truly genius thought entered my noggin. Fill them with cheese. Everything filled with cheese has the potential to be glorious, and never more so that when that thing is fried.

Fried Mozzarella Bites - Bakerlady

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Get On The Veggie Train With Your Lollipop

My kids love walking to the mailbox for one reason. It comes in the form of a brightly colored magazine called Clubhouse Jr. Within the pages are stories, life lessons, jokes and activities. They pour over every amazing detail together on the couch and then inevitably have some craft request from within. I am decidedly un-crafty. This month, the “craft” they were interested in was a fun food activity. Whew. Food crafty-ness I can handle. If you are looking to make vegetables incredibly delightful for your kids, or simply enjoy throwing some fun into lunchtime, try out these veggie train and lunchtime lollipop recipes, courtesy of Clubhouse Jr.

Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops - Bakerlady

I went with the hummus version for the trains and added an olive for my smokestack on the engine. You can fill those little celery cars with peanut butter, cream cheese or whatever your kids love instead. And I’m sure there are much more creative veggie toppers than I used. Let your (or your kid’s) imagination run wild! My kids have officially reached the “awkward-never-a-good-picture” age. Notice my son’s olive engine is already gone. He loves olives with the passion of a thousand suns.

Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Veggie Train and Lunchtime Lollipops

Veggie Train
adapted from Clubhouse Jr.

Ingredients

Celery stalks, washed
Cream cheese, hummus or peanut butter
Carrots
Toothpicks
Olives or cherry tomatoes
Bits of veggies, fruit or nuts (optional)

Directions

Cut celery into 2 1/2 inch stalks.
Spread one teaspoon of cream cheese, hummus or peanut butter in each stalk.
Cut a carrot into circles about 1/4 inch thick to make the wheels.
Push a toothpick into the center of a carrot wheel. Add a wheel to the other end. Repeat to make 2 sets of wheels.
On a plate, arrange the wheels 1 1/2 inches apart.
Place the filled celery between the wheels to rest on the toothpicks.
Repeat as neccessary for more train cars.
Place an olive (or cherry tomato) with a piece of green pepper (or broccoli) in the top on the front of on of the cars for an engine stack.
Add a piece of carrot (or a baby carrot) for the engine body.
If desired, load your train cars with raisins, craisins, peas, broccoli or nuts.

Lunchtime Lollipops
adapted from Clubhouse Jr.

Ingredients

cream cheese, softened
tortillas
lunch meat, sliced
lettuce
toothpicks

Directions

1. Spread thin layer of cream cheese on tortilla.
2. Cover tortilla with lunch meat.
3. Add lettuce, if desired.
4. Roll up tortilla tightly.
5. Poke in toothpicks, 1 inch apart.
6. Cut between toothpicks to make 1-inch pieces.

If desired, slip a 2-inch piece of straw over the toothpick. Wrap each lollipop in a 5-inch square of plastic wrap. Tie with curling ribbon at the top of the toothpick stick.

Gobble-Berry Lollipops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese, cranberry sauce and sliced turkey.

BLT Lollipops: Fill tortillas with herb cream cheese, bacon bits, thinly sliced tomato and lettuce. Eat right away—tomatoes can make the lollipops soggy.

Rainbow Fruit Lollipops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese and fruit leather or jam. Make several lollipops, using a rainbow of colors.

Pizza Pops: Fill tortilla with cream cheese, pepperoni, mozzarella and sliced black olives (optional). Dip in tomato sauce.

Sunny Hawaiian Lollipops: Mix 2 tablespoons of cream cheese with 1 tablespoon of well-drained, crushed pineapple. Fill tortilla with cream cheese mixture, shredded carrot and a thin layer of ham.

Mom’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake Perfection

My mother has been making this cake as long as I can remember. As a child, the thought of a vegetable baked into a cake was just supremely odd. Now I know that little flecks of zucchini melt into the chocolate batter making the texture and richness just perfect.

Mom's Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake Perfection - Bakerlady

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Plum Cake Bread

Great neighbors are hard to come by. I know someone (who shall remain nameless) who lives next to a family where the kids play a game called “Am I Being Murdered?”. An activity that’s such fun, it has to be enjoyed during every single hour of every single day. A jolly good time for the whole housing development I’m sure. On the other end of the spectrum are the good folks who reside just over the fence from me. Specifically the very talented gardener of the family, who delivers just picked fruit and vegetables to my greedy doorstep all summer long. I get nature’s bounty freely given with zero effort on my part. It’s simply divine. Just this week I’ve received zucchini, cucumber, apples (two kinds), and most delicious of all, plums. They arrive in bags and buckets. Fragrant, juicy, mildly tart and perfect.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

It didn’t take much convincing for my children to believe that plums are far better than candy. They have free reign to enjoy a succulent treat from the plum basket whenever they want. Both munchkins are now consistently a sticky mess of dribbly plum juice and I don’t even care.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady
This recipe is a quick bread that tastes dangerously close to a cake. It’s sweetness and light with a hint of tart sprinkled throughout from the plums. Delicious. It would be perfect for a brunch, ladies tea, afternoon snack, or dessert. Basically, whenever you want to eat it, do.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

You can use yogurt instead of sour cream if that’s what you have handy. The batter is nice and thick so all those beautiful plum pieces won’t sink to the bottom of your bread. I also baked this in mini loaf pans as well as a 9-inch square cake pan. Both turned out with a perfect texture and golden crust. Just adjust your bake time accordingly. I started by baking about 30 minutes then checked on my cake bread every 5 minutes or so until it was done.

Plum Cake Bread - Bakerlady

Print Recipe For Plum Cake Bread

Plum Cake Bread
adapted from Allrecipes.com

1 cup pitted, chopped plums
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle chopped plums with 1 tablespoon of flour in a bowl, and toss to coat. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, white sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. In another bowl, sift together 1 1/2 cup of flour with salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, alternating with sour cream until the mixture forms a smooth batter. Lightly stir in the flour-coated plums, and pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the top of the batter with brown sugar.
3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan for slicing.