Thursday, September 3, 2015

White Chicken Chili

I've been contemplating whether to just quit the whole blogging, or continue on, even if I post once a month...at least it's better than none at all. I've invested five years into food blogging. so I'm not gonna stop now! I've been using my smart phone to take quick photos of everyday 'life' and I must say it's a lot more convenient than lugging around your digital camera although, today I decided to get my camera out for this 'brainstorming' quick idea of making chili...not just any chili with the beef, I decided to use white chicken breasts...no big deal just leftover rotisserie chicken from my local Publix supermarket.

What a fun way to welcome September, and fall season just around the 'corner' to come up with all these beautiful and vivid falls colors, and hardy 'stick to your bones' goodness with a bowl of warm chili with chicken which is so much lighter than beef. Instead of making it in the slow cooker (crockpot) I just didn't want to wait for it to cook for 6 hours...although, I did cook the dark red kidney beans, and the Great Northern beans ahead of time separately, and added the shredded chicken at the end of cooking time.
 Let me tell you, this amazing chili with is such a $ stretcher...a real 'thrift' bargain, you can feed an 'army' with it and they will love it and thank you for it, and you can 'pat' yourself in the back that you have a winning recipe idea on your hand. Also, you most likely have most of these ingredients in your cupboard and in your fridge. As for the spices, they are also very basic as well. You can make this as hot, medium, or mild if young children are eating it. Since I'm such a Pinterest 'geek' I actually did find this recipe on Pinterest by a well know food blogger, so I will post her recipe and my adaptation of how I made it!


    { Crockpot} White Chicken Chili
My adaptation in BLUE
serves: 8-10

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15-ounces) low sodium Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cups dry cooked Great Northern Beans+ ( save1 cup of the liquid it was cooked in)
  • 1 can (15-ounces) low sodium Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cups dry cooked dark Red Kidney Beans + (save 1 cup of the liquid it was cooked in)
  • 2 cans (10-ounces each) diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1-28 oz can diced tomatoes (drain liquid and save in a measuring cup)
  • 1 can (15-ounces) sweet corn kernels
  • I used 2 fresh leftover cooked corn (shaved off the kernels to add at the end)
  • ¼-teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼-teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼-teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry granule garlic and parsley
  • ⅛-teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups of the liquid from the beans it was cooked in
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bottle (12-ounces) beer
  • 1 bottle Samuel Adams beer
  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • whole breast of a store bought rotisserie chicken taken off the bone
  • 1 avocado, diced, for garnish
  • shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
  • sour cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Place the chopped onions, beans, tomatoes, and corn in the crock pot.
  2. 1-1lb. bag of dry Great Northern Beans soaked for 2 hrs. after bringing it to a boil (in a large pot covering it with water) adding 2 bay leaves, 1 half onion, salt and pepper. Do the same with the red Kidney Beans. Simmer beans on low heat till almost tender to the 'al dente' about 1 hr.
  1. Stir in chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
  2. Add both beans with their liquid to a 'Dutch oven' (heavy duty large pot) the drained diced tomatoes, add the spices, and the beer. Cook for an additional 1 hr. on med- low uncovered.
  3. Add chicken broth and beer.
  4. Place chicken breasts on top.
  5. Cover and cook for 3.5 to 4 hours ON HIGH, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Or cook
  6. on LOW for 5 to 6 hours, or until chicken is done.
  7. Shred the deboned chicken breast, and add it to the pot, along with the corn kernels. Add the olive oil. Add 1/4 cup of flour to the reserved tomato juice, which is about 1/2 cup, whisking it till a smooth paste, and add it to the pot with all the ingredients. Simmer for an additional 25 minutes
  8. Remove chicken breasts from the pot and place on a cutting board; let cool for a few minutes.
  9. Shred chicken and stir it back into the pot; cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  10. Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with avocado, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.
  11. Serve.
Notes
RECIPE SOURCE: DIETHOOD
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 486 grams (17-ounces) Calories: 345 Fat: 5.3 




















 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread

By the time I get to catch up posting again...I will be going back to Cleveland for another visit to check on my sister; who is not improving with her mental and physical health...sad to say! In the meantime, I have not spent any time on my blog for one month. I do have several photos of things I have made that I would love to share with you and this amazing Banana Bread with Cream Cheese filling is one of them!
Now that I have joined Weight Watchers again, for the 'upteenth time'...in my opinion, this time is the best time joining and still losing the desired weight is beyond my 'wild' expectation. It is so easy to track the points and stay within the 'portion control' is so important. The extra point allowance of (49) is used at your own convenience, which I chose for Saturday and Sunday. That's when I can bake and cook to my 'heart's content' and I love it.
We all love a good homemade banana bread and my daughter and I make a loaf every week makes a loaf with the leftover ripe bananas. Actually I just make the special ones every now-and-then when a new recipe catches my eye! Since I'm a Pinterest addict, I save quite a few interesting and new recipes...although this may not be so new, but 'new to me'!

Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 TB sour cream
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 TB Sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
Cream Cheese Mixture :
  • 8-10 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB flour
Instructions
  1. Mix sugar, butter & eggs. Dissolve baking soda in sour cream, add bananas, salt and 2 cups flour. Mix all together.
  2. Divide ½ of this mixture into 2 floured loaf pans.
  3. Combine cream cheese ingredients and spread over mixture in pans. Spread remaining banana batter on top.
  4. Sprinkle top with 1 TB sugar mixed w. ½ teaspoon cinnamon before baking.
  5. Bake at 350 for 50 min. Cool and serve. 

Been having much needed rain here in Palm Beach...just wanted to share this beautiful photo with you that I snapped at the 'spare of the moment' with my Smart Phone...also, all the previous photos have been taken with my cell phone since most of the time I'm not prepared to take photos and do not have my camera 'on hand'.
Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday...although in most parts of the globe Sunday has ended, so have a beautiful and pleasant week, to all my friends!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Cleveland visit...Part 2.

Here we are in the middle of summer, and I'm showing you winter photos...how silly is that!?
The reason for that is because I need to catch up over the last six months that I have missed posting.
Thank you so much for your sweet and kind comments that you left on my blog, and I truly appreciate that you care and have missed me...as I certainly have missed you!

So here we are, on our way to visit my parents' grave near by...me taking the beautiful scenery winter photos which I rarely get to experience since I moved away from Ohio decades ago to sunny S. Florida! One thing for sure, I don't miss the terribly cold winters, but I do love the snow when it's just like this, with a bit of sunshine, clear skies -minus- the snow storms.

We arrived at the cemetery, all the graves are covered with blankets of crisp fresh snow, glistening in the sun. It's about 27 degrees F. way too cold for me, but I decided to take a 'selfie' of us and my sister actually was happy to pose for the photo!
Now comes the good part...she thinks she recognized our parents' grave which is near that tree in the background (turns out it was actually in the next row) also near the tree!
In the meantime...she decides to say a prayer and have a conversation with our parents standing on the wrong grave...to say the least!
I must share this most amazing, super moist and sooo delicious Apple cake that Susan, (my nephew's wife) made for us, after a scrumptious Bolognese sauce with homemade gnocchi!
You probably recognize this famous Jewish Apple cake...a recipe which I also had from the seventies and eighties that is still very popular!
This apple cake is super moist, with all these wonderful apple chunks half of them in the middle of the batter, and the other half on the top which makes it so attractive...so pretty!

Mom’s Apple Cake
by: Smitten Kitchen 

6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.
Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool completely before running knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Cleveland visit...part 1

Hello Everyone...all my dear {food} blogger friends!

You may, or may not welcome me back to the 'food blogging' world, but as for me it's been quite a journey staying away from my blog that I've built over the past 5 years; actually almost to the exact 5 years next month (I think)...just can't remember exact dates on important events.

I've missed you all, and I truly am sorry for not visited and commented on your blogs all these months...6 months to be exact. I have not looked into my very own blog and have begun to think that I had 'squatters' taking over, just like in abandoned houses...as in, abandoned blog is what 'food and thrift' has become...sad, but true!

I'm gonna start from the beginning, where I left off, although I have been somewhat active on facebook and have kept in touch with some of you, and of course, on Pinterest which have kept me busy pinning all the yummy foods, and pretty things. This has been an up-and-down emotional 6 months for me and I came up with every excuse in the 'book' why I should not return to my blog...now, I must admit to myself the real reason...other than...my blog isn't 'good enough' to continue.

Some of you may know that I took a short 10 day trip to my hometown Cleveland, (suburb outside of the city) to visit my older sister and family. The worst time of the year, in January, the coldest month of the winter time. My sister Aniko has been ill for some time with various problems...mostly back problems for the last decade or so, but she has always been active in her beautiful home...a proud wife, mother, grandmother...an amazing cook, baker, and so proud of her beautiful home that she kept in perfect and beautiful style...mostly gorgeous Hungarian art and paintings and mostly the world famous Herendi ceramic sculptures, and figurines.
I call it the... Bordó...Bordeaux...formal living room at my sister's house

 Unfortunately, she has given up all interest in her home, and recently in her life...her memory is slipping, quite rapidly these last few months...could be Alzheimer's...not so sure, I'm so skeptical about approaching that 'subject' from family members...all I know, our conversations are getting less and less via phone, to almost a 'yes' and 'no' replies from her. This beautiful vibrant happy woman has diminished into a stranger I do not know any more. We have always been close throughout the years...growing up, and as adults.

On the left, is the formal dining room.
As in most Northern homes...this is where the family spends 99% to hang out...chill out, in the family room
a split level type house, downstairs, 
I love their back yard, it's like a 'national park'...so large and huge trees; the deck is so great in the summer time.
such a pretty winter scene in the back yard
This is the front of the house...typical Northern home


Life has taken a sharp turn and now we just have to prepare for what the future will hold next!
Cilu, their beloved Siamese mix...rescue cat, so beautiful and wise!

The famous West Side Market, in Cleveland...a 'food lover's dream' come true!
A 'selfie'...me, and Susan...(nephew Denes' wife)...she is more
like a niece to me an amazing cook and baker, getting her
culinary degree!

While my short stay in Cleveland, I enjoyed every minute of my stay with my family, and shopping in my beloved city...especially the West Side Market that's been around for decades, maybe a century...will have to 'google' that!


Hungarian sausages, better known as... kolbász...stocked up on it to take back to Florida; sooo good!
Most amazing Artisan breads
Susan...(my nephew's wife)...and nephew Denes buying fresh produce