Friday, October 29, 2010

Have a Wicked Weekend

Another "Fright Day" Recipe

Last night Val and I got together at our friend Jamie's house to make these Mini "pumpkin" Cheese Balls. We had so much fun making them!!  If you are hosting a Halloween party this weekend or attending one, this is a delicious recipe to try. I know, I tasted these delectable little pumpkins! Anything with cream cheese is a winner to me.

This recipe makes about 24 pumpkins. We doubled the recipe. You will need cream cheese, a jar of roasted red peppers, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, grated cheddar cheese, paprika and whole green onions.

Finely chop the roasted red peppers.

Beat cream cheese, red peppers, garlic and cayenne until well blended.

Add your grated cheddar cheese....

and stir.

Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to handle. We skipped this step, due to time restraints. They were still easy to handle. We used a cookie dough scoop to scoop out the perfect little round portions. I think a teaspoon or melon baller would work fine too.

Roll into 1-inch balls

After you have rolled your 1-inch cheese ball, roll it in paprika to coat.

Slice green onion into 1-inch pieces (green parts only). I think mine were too big. I think you can use different sizes for realistic pumpkin looking stems.

The best way to insert the green onion, is to make a small hole in the middle of your pumpkin with a toothpick then gently insert green onion in the center. Refrigerate until serving. Before serving, make indents with a sharp knife to make a pumpkin shape. Now you have your adorable and yummy pumpkin cheese balls. Just serve them on crackers for a savory snack. Enjoy!

Thanks Jamie and Val, I had so much fun.

You can find this Tasty Kitchen Recipe at pionneer woman's website. Just click on this link.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Slow Cooking for a Fast Moving Day

South of the Border Chili

As soon as there is just a hint of chill in the air, I can't wait to break out all of the comfort foods. For me it's stew, meatloaf, pot roast and chili. Believe it or not, it is cool today in Cypress and I am making chili before I start my day.


Here is what I used. All the ingredients you will need will be listed at the end of this post with the recipe.

You are going to seed your jalapeno pepper, unless you are one tough cookie, then you can leave the seeds in, just prepare to cry while sweating....that's what I would be doing.

I rinse pat and dry one pepper. Slice it down the middle and then I run my knife down the middle to remove seeds. I would have taken a picture of the process but it takes 2 hands for the task.

Dice your jalapeno.

2 garlic cloves peeled and minced.

 Brown 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of beef with jalapeno and garlic that you have diced. I know ground chuck is not pretty to look at but I did not want to leave out any steps. Lets just say, I'm taking one for the team.

Be sure to break up the meat so that you don't end up with meatballs in your chili. 

After the meat is brown, drain the fat.

Mix in 3 teaspoons of chili powder

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

Mix well and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.

This is about what it should look like, or at least close to this.

You need 1 cup of chopped celery. I used 1-2 stalks of celery.

You will need 1/2 a cup of green pepper, which is roughly 1/4 of a bell pepper, depending on the size of course.

Be sure to remove seeds.

chop, chop.

1 cup chopped red onion

Now, you are going to pour the drained red kidney beans in your slow cooker/crock pot.

Add your diced onion to the slow cooker.

Add your green bell pepper.

Add your celery and  both cans of undrained tomatoes with green chilies.

Add your can of  tomatoe paste and tomatoe juice, if you don't have it you can use an 8 oz. can of tomatoe sauce.

This is what you should have in the slow cooker so far.

Mix together.

Add your browned meat mixture and stir.

Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours, or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

10 hours later............

I added sour cream, shredded jack cheese and green onions. I hope you try this recipe and let me know what you think. You can also dice all of your vegetables the night before and maybe even brown your meat the night before so in the morning all you have to do is add and go.


1-1/2    pounds of ground beef
2          cloves of garlic
1          jalapeno pepper, chopped   
3          teaspoons chili powder
1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
1          15 1/2 ounce can red kidney beans, drained
1          cup chopped celery
1          cup chopped red onion
1          cup chopped red onion
1/2       cup green pepper
1          16-ounce can diced tomatoes, (Mexican-style, if available)
1          10-ounce can of Rotel or tomatoes with green chili peppers
1          cup of vegetable juice, tomato juice or tomatoe sauce
1          6-ounce can of tomato paste
            shredded jack cheese (optional)
            sour cream (optional)
            diced green onions (optional)

  1. Brown beef with garlic and jalapeno pepper. Drain fat. Mix in chili powder and cumin. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
  2. Combine beans, red onion, green pepper, celery, undrained tomatoes, undrained tomatoes with green chilies, tomatoe juice or sauce, tomatoe paste. Mix. Stir in browned meat mixture.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours, or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. Serve in bowls with sour cream, cheese and green onions to help tame the flame! It really is not that spicy I would say more flavorful than spicy.

You are probably wondering about the corn bread. I did not put the recipe or steps because I used Homemade gourmet corn bread mix. In my opinion it is the best corn bread recipe I have ever tried. I love it and it is easy. You add 1 cup of milk, 2 eggs and 1 stick of melted butter. You know I love that butter!!! Stir and pour in a 13x9 greased pan or muffin cups etc. Enjoy!!