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Handsome’s Favorites

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Handsome
Handsome

So here is my Handsome…..you see now where he gets his name…. he is so handsome! I know, I know, ok so I will move on to his favorites. Anyone who knows Handsome, knows that there are two favorite things he cannot go without (when I say things, I mean food, because I am his favorite thing, j/k, no but really…. Haha)…but back to his favorites…. he absolutely loves chili and red velvet cake. And when I say loves, I mean LOVES!!!! When I cook chili, he will eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner – no exaggeration. Also, he will take chili to work for lunch everyday until it is gone…seriously! Me on the other hand, once I eat something, I may be able to eat it one more time the following day, but after that I am pretty much done with it – not a leftover kind of girl! :) And for the red velvet cake, Handsome has always love Red Velvet Cake, even so much that for his Groom’s cake for our wedding we had Blue Velvet Cupcakes (technically they were red velvet, just the color blue).  I cook almost every night during the week, but most of my cooking is done on the weekends and you can bet that Handsome will request chili and red velvet cookies. So here are two easy and simple recipes for Handsome’s chili and red velvet crinkle cookies. I hope you enjoy!

Chili

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Chili
Chili

 

Ingredients

1 lb. Ground Beef (If you like a meatier chili then use 2 lbs. of ground beef)

½ Teaspoon Garlic, Minced

1 small Onion diced

1 can (28 oz.) Crushed Tomatoes

3 cups of water

1 16 oz. can of Brooks Mild Chili Beans (You can use any kind of kidney beans or add black beans too)

1 package of Chili-O-Mix

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Salt

1 tsp Sugar

1 cup of small pasta (optional)

 

Instructions

Brown ground beef and onions together, the last minute of cooking at the garlic and cook, then drain

In large pot add crushed tomatoes, water, kidney beans, Chili-O-Mix, salt, pepper and sugar

Add ground beef mixture to the tomato mixture

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2-3 hours stirring often

In a separate pot, cook small pasta according to package directions, drain and then add to the chili

Toppings: soup crackers, shredded cheese and sour cream

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

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Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies

Ingredients:
6 tablespoons of butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 box of Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 large eggs

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Melt butter and set aside to cool

Mix powdered sugar and cornstarch in a shallow bowl

Mix by hand the cake mix, eggs, and butter until dough forms

Form dough in 1 inch balls (I used a small ice cream scooper) and then roll the balls in the powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture

Place the dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet about 2 inches apart

Bake for 9-11 minutes and then cool for 1 minute before moving to a cooling rack

Adapted from:
http://www.duncanhines.com/recipes/cookies-bars/Duncan%20Hines%C2%AE/red-velvet-crinkle-cookies/

Soup Days

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You know there are certain days that call for soup, and here lately in the Bluegrass State we have had a few of those days, more than I would like. I usually sit down every week and plan the meals for Handsome and I for the following week and there are two factors that determine what meals we will have: 1-what is on sale at the grocery…duh!…and 2-what is the weather going to be like. For instance, if its going to be in the 60s and sunny then we do a lot of grilling, but if it is going to be in the 30s and snowing then we cook more inside the house. However, for you that do not know this, Kentucky weather is very UNPREDICTABLE…seriously, today it is 30 degrees and snowing and by Friday it is supposed to be 60 degrees and raining!!! - CRAZY! I know!  So this past weekend it was cloudy, rainy and cold, and I thought what is a better way to warm up, than with a bowl of soup. So I found a new recipe that I think you all are going to love. It is a white bean and kale soup recipe and it is very healthy and can even be tweaked a little and turned into a vegetarian soup as well. It is not like any other soup I have ever made, it is a very light and clean soup. So this past Sunday my family and I got together and watched the UK game…and yes we beat Wichita State!!! Go C-A-T-S! CATS! CATS! CATS! Sorry, I had to do it! So the soup was a hit and the Cats advanced to the Sweet Sixteen….it was a good day!!

White Bean & Kale Soup

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White Bean & Kale Soup
White Bean & Kale Soup

 

 Ingredients
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
1-2 pieces of country ham, shredded (you could also use a couple pieces of bacon, just omit the olive oil)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3-15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large bunch of kale, chopped or torn
2 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions

In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.

Add ham, onion, celery, carrot, and bay leaf, sauté until the onions are softened, about 4-5 minutes or so.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or so.

Add water and chicken broth. Bring to a boil.

Add the beans and kale, reduce to simmer, stirring frequently, until completely heated through and the kale is wilted, about 10-15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from:
http://www.thecurvycarrot.com/2012/10/17/white-bean-and-kale-soup/#.USv2TU8Y5o8.pinterest

Little Italian

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I love when you’re cooking and all the wonderful aromas fill your house and give you a sense of home. I have a comforting feeling all the time when I’m cooking…cooking to me is relaxing and yet creative. I love cooking comfort food, but I especially enjoy cooking Italian foods. There is something about pasta and bread and garlic that gives you a full and satisfying feeling!! So over the weekend I tried out some new recipes, Minestrone Soup and Chicken & Spinach Lasagna. They were amazing!!! Handsome loved the Chicken & Spinach Lasagna….I was completely surprised…but how can you not love pasta, cheese, chicken and spinach?!?!? However, he did not care for the Minestrone Soup…he’s more of a chili guy! :) I served garlic toast with the lasagna and crusty bread with the soup. So get to cooking and feel your home with the aromas you love! I hope you enjoy!!!

Minestrone Soup

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Minestrone Soup
Minestrone Soup

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/3 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken broth
2 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of mini penne pasta (you can use any mini pasta)
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add the onion, celery and carrot and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds.

Stir in the green beans, dried oregano and basil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; cook 5 more minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes and the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer 20 minutes.

Boil mini pasta in separate pan according to cooking instructions on box, drain and set aside.

Stir in the kidney beans and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Season with salt. Ladle into bowls and top with the parmesan.

Adapted from:
http://hmjg.com/minestrone-soup-recipe/
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/winter-minestrone-recipe2/index.html