Category Archives: Make Ahead

Chipotle Chili

chipotle chili

Chili, is there anything better on a cold winter night than a piping hot bowl of Chili?  I posted my age-old favorite Chili recipe a while ago.  That is my go to Chili recipe but when I saw this one in Bon Appetit’s Fast Easy Fresh, I knew I had to try it.  You see, I LOVE Chipotle Chilis.  Love, love, love them.  I like it hot.  The original recipe had you add 2 Chipotle peppers.  I started with 3 and ended up with 5 :).   I also added the tomato paste and brown sugar as it needed a little sweetness to balance the chilis.  Other than that, I was pretty true to the recipe.  When I served mine I added avocado, low-fat sour cream, a little cheddar cheese, raw red onion and a few big spoons of  hot sauce which Bill found a little perplexing.  I told you I like it hot!  :)

I have had this cookbook for a while, but recently spent some time going through it again and have about 20 recipes tagged with a stick it note.  The recipes are all meant for quick, healthy weeknight dinners, so you will see more of them here for sure! Continue reading Chipotle Chili

Braised Pork Roast

braised pork

I went to a cooking class at Rialto on Sunday.  It was great.  Jody Adams is the chef and she is a very interesting woman, besides being an amazing chef.  The topic was braising and she prepared 3 dishes, then you sit down and enjoy all the dishes with a wine pairing.  Not a bad way to spend a Sunday!

So, she made a braised pork belly on a citrus salad that was so amazing, I have been dreaming about it.  No sheeps for me falling asleep this week, pork belly ….pork belly….It will be on the menu for my Fall Dinner party next year.

Yesterday I had a 3 pound pork loin roast (Under $6) and I decided I would braise it.  Braising is such a great way to add flavor to any cut of meat or some veggies (think leeks).  It is a moist cooking method that creates a luscious sauce (ok, now you know why I love braising!).

This the basic method:  Sear the braising subject.  Remove and carmelize braising veg in same pot.  Add liquid (beer, wine, stock, combo), return braising subject to pot.  Add water if needed so liquid comes a third of the way up, cover and finish in oven for hours.  Take out and enjoy the luscious sauce with braising liquid.  You can also finish braise in a crock pot but you must sear the subject and veg first, that is the main flavoring. Continue reading Braised Pork Roast

Chicken Stew with Tomatoes & White Beans

chicken stew Yesterday I was feeling the effects of 5 days in a row of eating rich food that I don’t normally eat and really wanted to make something healthy and comforting for dinner.  We had friends coming over too and it was just going to be casual, so something make ahead was needed to.  I turned to this delicous Chicken Stew with Tomatoes and White beans.  It is comforting and served with a salad makes a light meal.  You could make it even lighter by skipping the bacon, but the bacon has only 30 calories a slice cooked, so I think it is worth it.  :) Continue reading Chicken Stew with Tomatoes & White Beans

Posole (Mexican Pork Stew)

Posole 2

Have I told you how much I adore soups and stews?  Well, I do.  There is something so warm and welcoming about a hearty bowl of homemade soup.  Homemade soup is healthy and inexpensive to make.  Whenever I make a batch, I always double it and freeze the leftovers in individual containers to have on hand for a healthy delicious lunch.  If you are going to double this recipe, make sure you make it in 2 different pots.  I really found making this that if you double in a large pot, the flavors are never as intense as when you make a single batch in one pot.

If you like spice, add more chiles!  I will usually add 3 or so and then an hour into the cooking add a little more if it’s not too spicy. Continue reading Posole (Mexican Pork Stew)

Italian Wedding Soup

italian wedding soup 2

This soup is from one of my favorite cookbooks, Back to Basics by Ina Garten.  When you are craving a hot comforting bowl of soup, this is a satisfying, healthy option.  I always make a double batch and freeze the rest.

Cook whatever pasta you want on the side.  If you add it to the pan, the leftovers won’t freeze well and get really soggy.  I tend to grab whatever pasta is open and needs to be used up.  In this case, I cut up some spaghetti.  You can skip the pasta if you are Gluten free or Paleo.  Continue reading Italian Wedding Soup

Chocolate Pots De Creme

Chocolate pot de creme

Where do I start with this?  What is a Pots de Creme?  It is a french dessert, that is a custard but I would describe it as “Ultimate Gourmet Pudding”.  It can be made in many flavors but I have only had chocolate and that is so damn amazing, I have decided to just stick with that!

I always double this recipe.  They will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days if they aren’t eaten sooner.  Brian keeps a working inventory when I make these to make sure he gets his fair share, he is crazy for them!

ps……….they look elegant but are really soooooo simple to make.  You can make them the day before your party.  A must try!  Continue reading Chocolate Pots De Creme

Slow Cooker Pork Adobada Tacos

Slow Cooker Pork Adobada Tacos

These tacos are soooo good!  You can make them as spicy or as mild as you want depending on how much of the seeds you keep.  Sometimes, I will add some chiptole pepper to it as well.  I usually make it a little on the milder side for my family and then just put a lot of hot sauce on it.

They are great for game day.  If we are having Football party, I like to make these and have all the fixing’s laid out on the counter and then guests can just go make their own whenever they are hungry.  You need to keep things super casual on game day, can’t risk missing a big play!  Enjoy and Go Pats!!!!  Continue reading Slow Cooker Pork Adobada Tacos

Turkey Tuscan Soup

Turkey Tuscan Soup

I just love a bowl of soup, especially when the weather is getting cold and a fire is roaring in the fireplace.  Some like the soup with lots of veggies, meat & pasta and some like more broth.  I am a broth girl.  I much prefer more broth, just ask Bill he has heard this a million times!  LOL  This broth takes on an italian twist with the addition of tomatoes and rosemary.  I add the red pepper for a little heat but you can ommit if you don’t like that.  You could add some pancetta to this as well………hmm I think I will do that next time!

Soups are fabulous for being creative.  Don’t like spinach?  Replace with escarole.  Don’t have chopped tomatoes?  Add fresh, or stewed.  Soups are also good for using up those lone veggies that are going to go bad if you don’t use them up.  Have fun experimenting and creating a healthy delicious soup.  Continue reading Turkey Tuscan Soup