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Sunday
Oct212012

Hot pepper jelly

I am writing this post from the south! We are celebrating my stepmother's 30th year in the ministry this weekend in North Carolina. Family members have gathered from all around the country to spend time together, and most importantly to let Paula know how loved and special she is. It has been absolutely wonderful spending time with family! My boys have been receiving all sorts of love. Going home tomorrow is going to be a sad day for all of us.

Last week, before the rest of our family arrived from Michigan and Minnesota and Arkansas and Iowa, Paula and I were canning fiends! My favorite thing that emerged from our canning efforts was this hot pepper jelly. I plan to bring a few jars back home with us, and I also plan to coat everything I see with this nectar. DELICIOUS!

In a large saucepan, combine:

1 cup green bell peppers, cored and ground

3/4 cup jalapeno peppers, ground

6 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add:

One 1.75-oz. package fruit pectin powder

Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add 6 drops of green food coloring.

Pour the hot jelly into hot, sterilized 1/2-pint mason jars. Seal tightly with hot lids and set in a cool place. The lids will pop as they seal. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. 

Serve with cream cheese and crackers. Or do like I plan to do this week and put it on everything.

Hot Pepper Jelly

Use this hot pepper jelly on toast, crackers or a sandwich!

Serves: 6 half-pint mason jars

Total time: 25 min

Hot Pepper Jelly

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup green bell peppers, cored and ground
  • 3/4 cup jalapeño peppers, ground
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1.75-oz. package fruit pectin powder
  • 6 drops green food coloring, optional
Instructions:
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the green peppers, jalapeño peppers, sugar, vinegar and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the pectin and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat and add the food coloring. Pour the jelly, while hot, into sterilized, hot half-pint mason jars. Seal tightly with hot lids and set in a cool place. The lids will pop as they seal. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Serve with cream cheese and crackers.

 

 

Sunday
Oct142012

Spicy white turkey chili

My day has involved: riding down the Lazy River with my water-loving oldest boy on a giant blue inner tube, comforting my youngest boy because of his aversion to waterparks and anything relating to a single drop of water, saying goodbye to my bestest pal and her children after a fun weekend together, packing for a week-long trip that begins on Tuesday, preparing for a long day of work tomorrow and dealing with a very-overly-tired-and-waterparked-out boy and his challenging behavior. Now the boys are in bed as I sit waiting for Dan to arrive home from work so we can watch the premiere of Walking Dead! I am beyond excited!

In the meantime, I will share this delightful white chili recipe with all of you! It is such a perfect time to throw chili ingredients into your crock pot to make your home smell wonderful and your tummies happy. I hope you enjoy this one!

Place 2 pounds of ground turkey in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until browned. Drain the grease and transfer to a large crock pot, along with:

2 cans cannellini beans, undrained

1 can butter beans, undrained

Add to the skillet:

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add:

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 to 4 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

Cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

Add:

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix well and remove from heat.

Add to the crock pot:

2 cans corn, drained

32 oz. chicken broth

Add the onion-pepper-spice mixture to the crock pot.

Mix well. Cook on Low for 6 hours.

Serve warm, topped with shredded mozzarella.

The zombies are here! Must go watch!

Printable recipe: Spicy white turkey chili

Saturday
Oct062012

Garlic lime chicken fajitas

This post is part of the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker program with McCormick.

Do you ever feel like things work out just exactly as they are meant to? I feel that all the time. Like our lives are a pre-written script and we are just living it out. This freelance job I am working on right now fell into place just as Dan's summer employment was winding down, which was a huge unexpected blessing. It is so pointless to worry, isn't it? Things always fall into place. It is unbelievably difficult to remember this in the midst of worrying, though. I wish it were easier.

The fact that this recipe was the next one on my list was perfect because it was quick and easy, not to mention delicious. I literally poured a pre-measured package of spices into a bowl, courtesy of McCormick, along with a few other ingredients, to create the marinade. This week, easy was necessary. McCormick, thank you for doing a lot of the work for me!

Pre-measured spice packets are a genius idea. Read on to see how you can receive one in the mail!

Here is one of McCormick's spice packets, with the recipe included on the back. Can't get much easier than this!

I have TEN McCormick spice packets in my hands to give away to my readers! I have five Garlic Lime Chicken Fajita spice packets (as shown in this post) and five Caribbean Grilled Steak packets. The first ten commenters on this post will receive a packet in the mail, so please do not comment within the first ten unless you would like one. Please note in your comment what your preference is (Garlic Lime Chicken Fajitas or Caribbean Grilled Steak), and please also send me your mailing address using the Contact button at the top of my website.

Onto the recipe!

In a medium bowl, combine:

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon minced onions

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon oregano leaves

1/2 teaspoon cilantro leaves

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

(If you have a McCormick spice packet, you won't need to measure out any of the above spices! Just throw them into the bowl...easy peasy!)

1/4 cup lime juice

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix well. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade and refrigerate.

Place 1 1/2 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips, in a large resealable bag. Add the remaining marinade and coat well. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

Cook and stir the chicken in a large heated skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Add to the skillet:

1 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

Reserved 1/4 cup of marinade from fridge

Cook and stir for approximately 5 minutes, or until tender.

Return the chicken to the skillet and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Spoon the chicken mixture into warmed 8-inch flour tortillas. Serve with additional toppings, if desired.

Thanks for reading! Enjoy the recipe, and a special thanks to McCormick for the wonderful spice packets!

Printable recipe: Garlic lime chicken fajitas

Wednesday
Oct032012

Grandma Linnea's Swedish pancakes

Hello friends! I have missed you! I have not had much time to spend on my beloved blog lately. It has been a busy couple of weeks, to say the least! My wonderful husband offered to write a post to take that off my plate (ha!) this week. Isn't he sweet?! He did everything, minus editing the photos. He is awesome and creative and I love him dearly. Thanks, Hubby!

I have to start this recipe off with two disclaimers. First, I am Dan (husband of Pip/Megan) and I am not detailed or concerned with grammatical things. I apologize in advance for errors and/or brevity. Second, I realize there may be an "official" Swedish Pancake recipe that is different than this one. I call these Swedish pancakes because my awesome Grandma (who turns 89 this month) is Swedish and made thousands of these for me and that's what she called them and so that's what they'll always be to me.

Speaking of my Grandma, she rocks. I have numerous childhood memories of vacations at her house in Norway, MI (the UP) and to this day my favorite foods come from her recipes. She's giving, caring and anyone who meets her comes away with a smile because of her genuine sweetness.

Anyway, these pancakes were always eagerly anticipated whenever we were at Grandma's or she was at our house. She would hover over the stove throwing out hot cakes to anyone and everyone until all bellies were crammed full. Good times.

Combine the following in a bowl or blender:

2 cups milk

2 eggs

3 tablespoons white sugar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup of flour

Pour roughly 1/4 cup of batter into a well greased, medium-high heated skillet and cook for roughly 30 seconds to a minute on both sides. I say roughly because you can make the pancakes as big or as small as you like or as your flipping skills will allow. Also, you can cook them a little longer or shorter depending on your desire for crispiness or chewiness. The batter is very thin so it might take a few times before you figure out the right amount/time that works best for you.

(I'm not huge fan of strict guidelines when it comes to cooking, just feel it!)

Serve hot and enjoy!

(As a kid I used to love rolling these up like tortillas and then cutting them into tiny pieces before devouring them, they're versatile like that.)

Printable recipe: Grandma Linnea's Swedish pancakes

Wednesday
Sep262012

Four cheese stuffed shells

Hello friends. I am tired. I started a new job last week that is leaving me a little bit extra sleepy. I will be spending Monday through Wednesday away from home until the end of October. This is a huge change for our family! I miss my boys immensely while I am away. Luckily I keep very busy, so the time goes by quickly.

Goooooood things are comin' our waaaayy.. Can you tell me the song that line comes from? (The first person to comment with the correct answer will receive a special treat in the mail!) Can you tell I need sleep?!  

The weekends are our time to reconnect as a family after a long week. Since it is still skydiving season, we typically do our reconnecting at the dropzone. I made these stuffed shells a few weekends ago for Dan and I and a few skydiving friends. The boys had been tucked into their trailer-bathroom-turned-bunk-beds by the time we were eating, so they sadly were not able to taste the deliciousness. Next time.

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook a 12-oz. box of jumbo shells in boiling water, 2 to 3 minutes short of the package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine:

15-oz. container ricotta cheese

1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup Asiago medium cheese, shredded 

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Mix well.

Stuff a spoonful of the cheese mixture into each cooked shell.

Place the stuffed shells cheese-side-up into the prepared baking dish.

Pour a 28-oz. jar of spaghetti sauce evenly over the stuffed shells.

Top that with 1 cup of shredded Muenster cheese and 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 50 minutes.

Serve warm with garlic bread and a green salad!

I want to thank you all for reading my blog. Seriously, I appreciate every eye that lands on this website. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Enjoy this yummy pasta, and have a great rest of your week!

Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells

This one is a family favorite. Four cheeses are stuffed into jumbo shells and covered with sauce!

Serves: 8

Total time: 1 hr, 15 min

Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

  • 12-oz. box jumbo shells pasta
  • 15-oz. container ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Asiago medium cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 28-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup Muenster cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Cook the jumbo shells in boiling water 2-3 minutes short of package directions. Drain and rinse.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of Muenster cheese, ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, Asiago cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix well. Stuff a spoonful of the cheese mixture into each cooked shell. Place the stuffed shells cheese-side-up into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Evenly pour the spaghetti sauce over the stuffed shells. Top with 1 cup of shredded Muenster cheese and ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. Serve warm with garlic bread and green salad.