My Favorite Chili Recipe

My Favorite Chili recipe

The weather has been awesome in Birmingham, and we had a cold snap this weekend, so we made My Favorite Chili Recipe. A lot of friends always ask me for my favorite chili recipe so I thought I would share–it’s my husband’s recipe creation. He has a few tricks up his sleeve. He uses ground beef and beef stew meat in the chili to create a meatier, thicker consistency. He also uses light beer instead of water and cacao powder. Cacao powder is similar to cocoa powder, but healthier and loaded with antioxidants. Use your favorite chili seasoning mix, green pepper, garlic and onion along with a touch of light brown sugar and canned tomatoes. I also like white kidney beans in my chili, but use your favorite beans.  If you’re chili looks thinner than you like, add 1 tablespoon mesa flour and water to thicken it. Ours turned out perfect. Served with a salad and your favorite crackers, and dinner is done.

Crunchy Maple Shortbread Cookies

Crunchy Maple Shortbread Cookies

Your family and friends will be so so excited when you share these tasty treats! Beautifully delicious Crunchy Maple Shortbread Cookies are a fantastic gift, and guests will love them. The maple crunch packs a flavorful punch, and these cookies become a delicious addition to your go-to holiday recipes. For added indulgence, dip them in melted chocolate and allow to cool. These are made with Nature Path’s Crunchy Maple Sunrise Cereal (which my kids and I love). These crowed-pleasing treats are so yummy I strongly suggest keeping a few for yourself! Check out how low in calorie there are too!

Calories per serving: 116, Fat 8g, Cholesterol 10mg, Sodium 8mg, Carbohydrates 12g, Fiber 1g, Sugar 6.5g, Protein 1.5g

Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip

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If you’re like me, you can never have enough recipes as the holidays near. Dips and salsas are perfect for getting a party off to a great start. This Feta and Roasted Red Pepper Dip recipe is only 3 ingredients. If you have the ingredients on hand, this tasty dip can be ready to serve in about 5 minutes. Serve it with crudités, crackers or pumpernickel rounds for an elegant appetizer. Tip: Use creamy feta cheese. The lower-fat versions produce a drier dip. If your results seem dry, add 1 teaspoon or so of extra virgin olive oil and pulse.

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This recipe comes from 150 Best Dips & Salsas from my cookbook publisher Robert Rose. Most of the dips and salsas in this book can be prepared ahead of time, are simple, and are made from the freshest ingredients. They cater to different tastes, dietary preferences, including vegetarians (such as this recipe). This book is the ultimate party dip and salsa resource! Enjoy this appetizer recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any holiday or weeknight parties.

Apricot Chocolate Chip Scones

Apricot Chocolate Chip Scones

If you say a recipe with chocolate chips, I am in! Better yet, in a scone. These Apricot Chocolate Chip Scones are a wonderful fall or holiday breakfast recipe. This is just of of the 125 recipes in 125 Best Chocolate Chip Recipes by Julie Hasson and published by Robert Rose (who is also my cookbook publisher). You’ll enjoy incredibly creative recipes from cakes, pies to breads, muffins, beverages, bars and sauces with simple techniques and preparation and minimum fuss. These scones come together beautifully using a food processor, which effortlessly cuts the butter into the flour resulting in tender and flaky scones. My kids and I love that they combine apricot and chocolate chips, and I can’t wait to make these again for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning!

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Fifteen Minute Peppermint Fudge

Fifteen minute fudge?  Yes, it is possible. I have been SO busy with work and the kids that I have not had time to make any holiday gifts. How about this fifteen minute Peppermint Fudge recipe? It’s easy, fabulous and perfect for the Christmas holidays! Have a happy weekend!

Pumpkin Waffles National Maple Syrup Day

This past weekend, my daughter, Leigh, wanted to make something a little bit different for breakfast. She found this recipe for Pumpkin Waffles (which I tweaked slightly) from Cooking Light. This is a great recipe for Christmas morning, and it is also idea for today which is National Maple Syrup Day! Enjoy and happy Tuesday!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Giveaway

I have a great cookbook giveaway today! Now, you CAN have your Southern biscuits and stay fit, with the brand new health-focused cookbook in the Southern Living collection. The Slim Down South Cookbook: Eating Well and Living Healthy in they Land of Biscuits of Bacon just released by my good friend. Carolyn O’Neil and Oxmoor House books. In this book, Carolyn offers healthy menus and recipes for healthier variations of Southern dishes you will want to make and love.

Enjoy this Cinnamon Coffee Cake recipe, which is AMAZING! The heavenly aroma of cinnamon and the nutty crunch of pecans may have you thinking this cake is a splurge, but the fat-free buttermilk and egg substitute keep the calories and fat low, so you can indulge and still feel virtuous. See the calories, fat and nutritional information below.

Now for the giveaway: To win a copy of this book,  tell me your favorite southern dish. I will select a random winner on Sunday, December 22nd at 8 a.m CST. Good Luck!

7 Favorite Peppermint Recipes

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving! I have already started on my holiday cards and holiday baking recipe list. my three kids and I love peppermint so I started researching some recipes and ideas for food gifts and desserts with Peppermint. Here are  7 favorite peppermint recipes and ideas starting with my Peppermint Milkshakes.

Star Mint Meringues via Better Homes & Gardens

Peppermint Bar Brownies via Love and Olive Oil

Peppermint Candy Cane Sugar Scrub via The Idea Room

Soft Peppermit Candy via Taste of Home

Peppermint Ice Cream Pie from Nestle Meals

Peppermint Protein Shake from Best Cleanse Recipes

Simple Kale Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

My three kids and I love kale so we are always experimenting with new ways to use it in the kitchen. I came up with the idea to add some sweetness, using dried cranberries and crunch with toasted pecans. Then all you need is to prepare a simple cider vinaigrette. This Kale Salad with Cider Vinaigrette is amazing, and it’s a great salad to accompany seafood, chicken or pork. Top it off with crumbled feta, goat cheese or even blue cheese. Oh, by the way, this also would make a great fall holiday recipe.

 

Turtle Cookies

I know I say it often, but my daughter, Leigh, is an amazing girl. No new task is too much of a challenge for her, and she is becoming quite the cook and baker. She recently found this recipe for Turtle Cookies on Pinterest from the Pixelated Crumb, and she had to make them. I admit that I helped her a bit, but these came out incredible. She said, “These taste like a chocolate lava cake” while they were warm, and she was correct. The caramel makes this cookie even better. OMG! We both agreed (as well as my two boys) that these are some of the best cookies we have had in a long time. Thank you Leigh for this fantastic cookie recipe find!