As I look back on my blogging, most of my recipes are pretty run of the mill. I thought that when I started this blog, I would be writing about grandiose recipes with exotic ingredients that I would travel around the world to find. Reality has set in. I'm a mom to 3 kids and 2 dogs, a wife, a personal chef to my clients and my family, a maid, a driver, a homework helper, a friend, a financial advisor/bill payer and a cheerleader to many football, field hockey and softball games. I guess I could find time to travel the globe looking for new and unique foods to make. But at this point in my life, I am content with all the activities that keep me busy on the home front. Anyway, I can find many interesting ingredients and recipes at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and in Cooking Light and Bon Appetite magazines, my daily newspaper, the Internet, and the multitudes of cookbooks out there.
I picked out two of my relatively new cookbooks and adapted a couple recipes the other day. A big pot of turkey chili and a batch of chocolate cupcakes were the lucky recipe winners. I really don't follow a recipe for my chili. It usually tastes relatively the same each time it's made - just a little variation here and there. I consulted the American Test Kitchen's Family Cookbook for their take on chili. Taking a cue from Cincinnati's 5 way chili, shredded cheddar, pasta, sour cream and diced onions are always offered with a big bowl of chili. Sometimes even a slab of cornbread is hidden at the bottom of the bowl to sop up the extra sauce.
Rarely does a day go by that there is not a dessert of some sort at our house. It just doesn't seem right not to have a cookie, cake or brownie sitting on the counter. I love the single serving desserts - cupcakes, muffins, cookies, mini quick breads. I tinkered with a recipe from America Test Kitchen again. Their Best Make-Ahead Recipe cookbook has a great muffin recipe and who wouldn't want a chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache on top?
Two easy recipes. No exotic ingredients. Found all the ingredients already in my pantry. Made a majority of the family members happy. Got to watch a field hockey game, football practice, make a trip to the library, and eat dinner too. A pretty good day all and all.
Chunky Turkey Chili
adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
This chili is pretty mild. Add about a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to spice it up!
2 pounds ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 TB cumin
2 tsp chili powder
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cans of beans - one kidney beans and the other black beans
2 cans crushed tomatoes - 28 ounces each
Heat a couple tablespoons of oil in a large pot. Add the onions, cumin, chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
Add the turkey and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the beans and tomatoes and cook for about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add some cayenne pepper to spice it up.
Serve with cooked and drained small shaped pasta, shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, sour cream and cornbread.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Semi Sweet Chocolate Ganache
makes about 14 - 16 cupcakes
adapted from The Best Make-Ahead Recipe cookbook from Cook's Illustrated
3 cups flour
1 TB baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa
10 TB butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Coat 2 cupcake pans with cooking spray.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa. Set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar with a mixer for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix well.
Add one-half of the flour mixture followed by one-half of the yogurt. Add the remaining flour mixture and then the yogurt. Mix just to blend. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake in oven for about 20 - 30 minutes. Let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing the cupcakes. Dip the top of the cupcakes in the ganache. Don't eat them all before your kids get home from school.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Ganache
1/4 to 1/3 cup half and half
about 1 to 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
Warm the half and half in a small saucepan. Add the chocolate chips and stir to melt. Stir in the vanilla. The ganache will thicken as it cools.