Monthly Archives: October 2011

Black Bean Chili and Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I took a little hiatus from the blogging world. I have been super busy. While everyone else prepared to head home for fall break… I was pulling my hair out trying to get data analyzed and a poster completed for the Geological Society of America Conference in Minneapolis. I was lucky enough to have my summer/fall research abstract accepted for presentation at this national conference. The conference was great… as some friends put it “I got to nerd out with 6,000 other people just like me”. It was a great experience and a serious resume builder.

 

Then mid-terms hit, during which I ran a 101 fever. Now that all of the craziness is behind me I finally feel like I can breathe. Enough complaining…

Soup Sundays has become a regular thing, especially now that the air has turned cold and damp… and there’s snow in the forecast.. eek! Chile might not be a soup technically speaking but it fills all of the requirements of a soup in my eyes. It’s warm, hearty and filling… and comes with cornbread! Not just any cornbread… jalapeno-cheddar cornbread. I grew up eating Jiffy cornbread from the blue and white box. I have memories of  helping my dad make them when I was really little. However, he likes to add in a few things and stray from the directions on the box, as do I.

Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread

Makes 6-8 muffins

1 box Jiffy Corn Bread Mix

1 egg

1/3 cup of milk

1 Tbs of butter

1 jalapeño, diced

¼ cup of cheddar cheese

Line muffin tin with liners and preheat the oven to 400. Mix together the corn bread mix, milk and melted butter. Then mix in cheddar cheese and diced jalapeño. Let stand for 10 mins (so the baking soda can react and you get light and airy muffins). Bake at 400 for 12-15 mins or until the tops are starting to turn golden brown

Black Bean Chili

1 medium onion diced

1 red bell pepper diced

1 green bell pepper diced

1 jalapeño, diced very fine

1 can of diced tomatoes and liquid (32 oz)

1 cup of water

1 chili seasoning packet (low sodium if possible)

1 can of black beans, drained of liquid but not rinsed

1 can of pinto beans, drained of liquid but not rinsed

1 cup of corn kernels

Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat a soup pot over medium heat and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the diced onions, sauté one minute then add in the peppers. Sauté 4 minutes or until they appear soft. Add in the diced tomatoes and liquid form the can. Let it come to a simmer; add in the water and seasonings. Bring back to a simmer, then add in beans and corn, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes. If too thick add a bit more water to thin it out, if to thin let it simmer longer. Serve topped with cheddar cheese or your other favorite chili toppings

On a side not… my family went to a Chili Cook-off to raise money for my brothers ice hockey team… I’m so jealous… a whole afternoon of chili, cornbread and beer!

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Brunch with Friends

This past Sunday, I had my two friends, Sam and Tracy, over for brunch. Tracy and Sam lived across the hall from me our freshman year and I probably spent more time in their room than my own. With different majors, going abroad different semesters and living in completely different places, it is a little bit harder now than just running across the hall. So, I bribed them with home cooked food and we finally got to catch up on what is happening in each others lives. And of course I went overboard on the food.

Now that it’s starting to feel like fall, I’ve been on a pumpkin kick… I bought a giant can of pumpkin and was determined to make some yummy baked goods for brunch. Mark and I couldn’t decide on just one so I made Pumpkin Scones with Spiced Glaze and Pumpkin Bars with White Chocolate Chips. I also made scrambled eggs with roasted tomatoes, red peppers and onions, and hash browns and fresh peaches… for 3 people.

Sam, Tracy and I ended up talking for hours and had a great time… hopefully another brunch is in our future…

Pumpkin Scones

makes about 14-16 scones

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

5 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes

scant 1 cup of canned pumpkin

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon of almond milk (or milk of your choosing)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix in cubed butter with a pastry blender or your fingers, until it resembles coarse sand or small pebbles. Then gently mix in the pumpkin until just combined… be careful not to over mix it. Split the dough in half, shape each half into a circle about 1 inch thick. and cut the circle like a pizza into 6 to 8 “slices”. Arrange the scones on a baking sheet that is line with parchment paper or a silpat (or you can just grease the pan). Repeat with the other half of the dough. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Let the scones cool. Then in a small bowl mix together powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, slowly whisk in 1 teaspoon of milk. you might need more milk, you are looking for the glaze to drizzle slowly off the whisk when it is held up, but it shouldn’t be too runny or too gloppy. Drizzle the glaze over the scones and let the glaze harden.

Pumpkin Bars with White Chocolate Chips

makes 1 9×13 pan, cut to desired size

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 package (6 ounces) white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13 pan with tin foil, making sure that the tin foil hangs over the edges a bit… this will make your life so much easier. Mix together flour, pie spice, baking soda and salt and set aside. Beat together sugar and butter with an electric mixer (we don’t have an electric mixer and man was it an arm workout). Then mix in the egg. Then mix in the pumpkin pure… it might look a little funny but you did not do anything wrong. Add batches of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until all of the dry ingredients have been mixed in. With a wooden spoon mix in the white chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the pan cool completely then use the tinfoil to lift the uncut bars out of the pan. Cut in desired shape/size and enjoy.

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