December 31, 2008

Texas-style Chili

Chili is a staple in our house for... well, pretty much anything. Living in Alaska, chili is wonderful on cold days and of course, we can't watch football without it. Tomorrow happens to be not only quite cold, but the capstone game for the 2008 college football season - for our team, anyway.

This calls for chili.


1 lb stew beef
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 small onion, minced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 or 2 jalapenos, sliced
1 poblano, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
2 cans diced tomatos
4 cans tomato juice
1 can tomato paste
2 cans navy beans, pureed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T chili powder
1 T sugar
1/2 t cumin
1 bay leaf
garlic and wine seasoning

First, prepare peppers, onions and celery. Set aside.

Brown the meat in a large skillet with salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning. Drain and transfer to a large pot.

Back in the skillet, sautee the prepared veggies until the onion is cooked. Add to the pot with the meat.

While the veggies are cooking, add minced garlic and diced zucchini to the pot.

Add two cans of tomato juice and all of the diced tomato. Stir and begin to heat on high.

While the pot is heating, puree the beans and add to the pot, mixing well. Add a third can of tomato juice.

Mix in the spices and reduce heat to medium. Simmer uncovered for about half an hour. Cover and reduce heat to low; continue to simmer for several hours. Use the remaining tomato juice and paste to adjust to the desired consistency.

December 30, 2008

Awesome Autumn Cupcakes

Pumpkin. Chocolate chips. Heavy cream. Mascarpone, mascarpone, and more mascarpone!

This decadent dessert looks intimidating at first, but it's really not that hard and the results are totally worth it.


2 1/4 c flour
1/4 c wheat germ (optional)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 c butter
1 1/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c pumpkin
3/4 c milk
chocolate chips or dried fruit of choice

Mix the first 8 ingredients together in a small bowl. In a larger bowl, cream together butter and sugar, then mix in the eggs and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternating, until the batter forms. Stir in chocolate chips or dried fruit. Pour into cupcake pan and bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes.


3 egg yolks
heaping 1/4 c sugar
pinch salt
1/2 c heavy cream
1 8 oz container mascarpone
2 T brandy
1/2 t ginger
1/4 t ground cloves

In a metal bowl, beat the yolks, sugar, and salt together about 4 minutes or until light yellow. Stir in the 1/2 cup cream. Hold the bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring constantly until it reaches 160 degrees (about 5 minutes). Cool to room temperature. Add the mascarpone cheese, brandy, and spices, beating at medium high speed for about 3 minutes.

Now go back to the cupcakes. Carefully cut a cone out of the middle, creating a hole in the cupcake.

Then cut off the pointy end of the cone, turning the remainder into a "lid" for the hole.

Fill with the cream mixture, then put the lids back on.


1 8 oz container mascarpone, room temperature
1/2-1 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
2-4 T powdered sugar
1 c heavy cream

Beat the mascarpone, spices, and sugar together. Add the cream. Continue to beat at high speed until the mixture thickens enough to hold its shape. Adjust spices to taste. Pipe onto the cupcakes. For a nice Halloween twist, use food coloring to dye the icing orange.


Instead of pumpkin cupcakes, use your favorite white cake recipe, adding a few tablespoons of peppermint schnapps and some ground up candy canes. For the filling and frosting, replace the spices with a bit of peppermint flavor. Color the frosting a pale green and sprinkle with more ground candy cane.


Well, I've finally stacked up enough requests for a food blog to actually nudge me into doing so. So, without further ado, welcome to my blog! As soon as I do some set-up and layout things, the recipes shall start flowing.