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One woman's journey to master the fine arts of cooking and crafting. The name is Ashley and the purpose of this blog is to chronicle my adventures, or shall we say misadventures, in cooking and crafting. In particular, I'll be exploring recipes from a variety of cookbooks and try my unskilled hands in the fine art of cuisine. In the world of crafting, I'll be exploring mixed-media art in the form of cardboard relief and painting. On this blog, you'll witness my successes and....maybe a few failures. Bon Appetit! And, Enjoy!

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9 December 13

Pumpkin Pie: A Study in Flip flopping

I am obsessed with pumpkin pie this holiday season.  For many who know me, when there’s a particular food item I want, I can’t stop thinking about it until I get it.  This typical Ashley behavior coupled with a lack of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving makes me want it all the more.  I’ve been to a number of holiday parties this holiday season.  Pumpkin pie never made the cut.  Instead I get stuck with the pumpkin pie’s poor cousin: sweet potato pie.  Don’t get me wrong.  Normally I love sweet potato pie.  But when my heart is set on something no other substitute will do.

Inspired by my older brother and his culinary ambitions, I decided to make my own.  My experience was…interesting.  I call this a study in flip flopping because every time I wanted to try one pumpkin pie recipe, I changed my mind.  Originally, I settled on this recipe.  Cut to four days later when I finally made it to the grocery store.  There I was in the spice aisle.  I needed ground nutmeg and ground ginger.  At over 4 bucks a pop, another spice caught my eye: Pumpkin Pie Spice.  All the same ingredients except cheaper.  Right above the list of ingredients was a recipe for pumpkin pie.  Like that, I ditched my recipe in favor of this one.  There were only minor differences.  Then I changed the recipe again once I got home.  I realized the can of pumpkin puree I bought was already pre-seasoned.  That made my pumpkin pie spice purchase moot. Oops.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Here’s the finished product:

Once I finally settled on a recipe, I stuck to the recipe with no substitutions or additions.

Overall, I liked the pumpkin pie.  I made it for a party I was having for my friends.  The next day there was only two slices left.  The one thing I would change is to let the pie bake a little longer.  Many recipes I saw said the cook time (after the initial 15 minutes at 425 degrees) varied from 40 to 60 minutes.  I let my pie back for about 50 minutes after the knife came out clean (you can see the knife mark).  It cooled for about an hour and a half before anyone ate it.  I decided to pull it out so my crust wouldn’t burn.  For my friends who ate it, they thought the consistency was good.  Not too hard, not too soft.  For me, it was a little on the soft side.  But I’m weird like that.

Next time I’ll try the original recipe and see.

I give this recipe an A.

25 November 13

One pot chicken and rice

Thought it was time to dust off the ole blog and post something.  Today’s gem was courtesy of Pinterest.  I chose this recipe for a number of reasons.  First, it gave me the chance to use my Dutch Oven.  I bought it several years ago and I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used it.  Second, the last time I ate chicken and rice was over 9 years ago.  In my childhood home, chicken and rice was a fairly regular occurrence.  Sadly, I haven’t had chicken and rice since my mother passed.  Call me nostalgic but when I think of this dish, I think of my mom.

This recipe took me out of my comfort zone.  First, I had never cooked a whole chicken before.   I can be a little OCD about germs and making sure I thoroughly wash my hands and the counter tops.  Second, because of this recipe, I now have my very own meat thermometer.  No undercooked meat in this house, thank you!

Here’s the finished project: (I need to work on my plating skills, yikes!)

I made some minor adjustments to this recipe as I went along.

  • To season my dish, I used the following spices: Season salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Used 50% less chicken stock.  I did 3 cups of chicken stock and one cup of water in lieu of 4 cups of stock.  As a general rule, I watch my salt intake.  Because of that, my tolerance for salty items is really low.
  • I used organic brown jasmine rice.  Boy was I surprised when I saw this.

Overall, I LOVED this dish! It was so simple and very straightforward.  I didn’t perfectly sear my chicken like the recipe called for but that wasn’t a deal breaker.  The chicken was so moist.  I wasn’t even using my sharpest knife and the meat just started to fall off.  The rice was perfectly cooked.  The fragrance of jasmine rice mixed with onion and lemon…divine.  Surprisingly, the taste of the lemon in the rice and the chicken struck the right note.  It wasn’t overpowering or absent.  I was so excited about tasting it that I just dug right in.  Hence the plated meal instead of the finished product in the Dutch Oven.

One change I will make going forward is to use less olive oil.  In the comments on the recipe site, people remarked that the excess oil from olive oil and the stock was a little too much.  It made it a little oily.  Before diving in, I leeched off the excess.  In the future, I will definitely use less.

I plan to make this dish again.  Clean up was a breeze as most of the action happened in the one pot.

I give this recipe an A+.

13 November 12

New Twist on a Classic: Peach Cobbler

I don’t know if it’s because I’m from the great state of Georgia, the Peach State, or if it’s because I know reside in the cold environs of the Northeast but I’ve been feeling nostalgic for peach cobbler.  It’s been over a year since I last made it.  And, something about the colder climates makes me crave a warm dessert.  After all, I have the biggest sweet tooth.

I’ve made peach cobbler off and on for the last 7 years.  And, I know my recipe like the back of my hand.  I don’t even measure the ingredients anymore instead I take samples and create it to my tastes.  Unlike the recipe I tried, my peach cobbler has a streusel topping.

I found this new recipe on Pinterest.  You can access the recipe here.  This recipe called for ingredients I don’t normally use like yellow cake mix and brown sugar.  

Any changes and/or substitutions:

I used unsalted butter instead of regular butter (it was all I had) AND I didn’t use as much butter as the recipe called for.

I didn’t back it in a 13 x 9 dish but instead a slightly smaller glass dish.

Here’s the finished product:

Here’s the finished product with some vanilla bean ice cream on top:

The verdict:

I would give this recipe a B.  It’s good but not great.  

I have to admit that a regular stick of butter and more butter probably would have made this recipe better.  The melted butter carmelizes the brown sugar.  And, because I didn’t use as much not all of the brown sugar carmelized.  So, that left flakey bits of brown sugar.

While interesting, the yellow cake mix made me feel like I was eating cake with peaches in it instead of a peach cobbler.

Admittedly, it was hard to put aside my bias for my own peach cobbler but this recipe made me realize why I like my recipe better.  First of all, I mix flour, butter, and cinnamon together. By doing this, instead of layering like this recipe called for, everything carmelizes and gives it a better crunch.  I tend to prefer things to be denser and compacted…at least when it comes to my peach cobbler. But, that’s my preference. 

I plan to stick to my recipe but I would suggest you give this recipe a try.

18 June 12

A Little Taste of India…in the desert

As many of you may know, I’m temporarily living and working in Death Valley.  While the sights have been spectacular and the people have been amazing, the remoteness of life in the desert can live one wanting.  In particular, it leaves you craving food that you can not ordinarily get.  I’ve had many conversations with coworkers crazing Chinese food, sushi, Thai, and Indian.  I’ve craved Indian food for several months now.  And, when I made my short trip home to Columbia, South Carolina over the Memorial Day weekend, satisfying this craving was number #1 on the list.  But now that I’m back, the craving has kicked in again.

At the local library, I came across 660 Curries.  Despite my love of Indian food, it never occurred to me to make my own Indian food.  So, I checked it out and over several days agonized about what dish I would make.  The problem out here in the desert is that certain specialty items are hard to come by.  The nearest town of Pahrump, Nevada isn’t exactly a burgeoning metropolis and the idea of driving two hours to go to Las Vegas just didn’t appeal to me.  I decided to make do with what I could find.

For my first Indian dish, I settled on a chicken curry.  In the book, it’s described as a “Breast of Chicken with Tomato and Coconut Milk.”  It’s further described as “an authentic British East Indian adaptation of “curry.”  I chose this dish for a number of reasons.  First, I needed to use up some of the chicken tenders I had in the freezer.  Second, the list of ingredients did not seem too hard to come by at the local Pahrump grocery store.  And, lastly, for anyone who really knows me, knows I can’t stand for the whole cooking experience to last longer than 30 minutes…unless it’s baking.  Call me lazy, but that’s just crazy.

Here’s the finished product:

 

 

 

I did make a few substitutions: 

·         I used olive oil instead of canola oil.  I had olive oil on hand and the idea of buying canola oil only to use 2 tablespoons wasn’t worth it. 

·         Ground ginger instead of fresh ginger. 

·         Chicken tenders (easier to chop) instead of chicken breasts

·         Regular salt instead of kosher salt

·         I couldn’t find English-Style Madras Curry Powder so I used the Red Curry Powder I found on the spice aisle

I poured the chicken curry over a bed of Jasmine Rice.   

Overall, I think the dish turned out pretty good.  The flavors weren’t as strong as some curry dishes I’ve had at authentic Indian restaurants.  But, I think this had to do with the fact that I didn’t use fresh ingredients like the recipe called for.   In the book, a picture of the finished product would have been helpful.  I wasn’t quite sure what color the curry was supposed to be.  All of this aside, I gobbled down this curry dish in less than 10 minutes (don’t judge). 

Once I’m back in South Carolina, I plan to try this dish again with the fresh ingredients and the right spices. 

I give this dish a solid B+.

26 September 11

Pot Roast…like Momma use to make

This is my second attempt at pot roast and its coming to you from the California desert…Death Valley to be exact.  The high temperatures make outdoor excursions a little difficult to do, so I thought I would try combining two things I love: cooking and eating.

 One of the many dishes I miss the most since my mom passed away years ago is her pot roast.  As a kid, I’d do a little happy dance when I found out she was making pot roast.  Suffice to say, I was a bit of a chubby kid.  

 My first attempt to make pot roast was about a year and a half ago and it wasn’t exactly a memorable experience.  If anything, it was quite forgettable.  The recipe called for using a bay leaf and let the roast marinate in wine while it cooked.  These were the things that, while interesting, was nothing like my mom’s pot roast.

Borrowing the cooking methods from the bf’s mom, I decided to keep it simple.  Because, sometimes simplicity is the way to go.

Here’s the finished product:


I seasoned my pot roast with the following ingredients:

            Season salt (or, as I call it, the spice of the South)

            Black pepper

            Garlic powder

            Onion powder

 I didn’t just season it but I made sure to pat the seasons into the meat.  Pat not hit or strike.  Then I placed the uncooked meat in a pan with about ½ to 1 cup of water.  To keep it from drying out.  I wouldn’t recommend more than that because the meat expels a lot of water too.

 Covering the dish with aluminum foil, I slow cooked the meat at 325F for about 4 hours.  The cooking time can be longer depending on how frozen the meat is.  My meat sat in the freezer all night and when I got up I took it out of the freezer around 9 am.  I let it slowly thaw for about 4 or so hours when I put the meat in the oven around 2 pm.

 Unlike the bf’s mom, I didn’t add any onions or the traditional side of potatoes.  Not because I don’t like these items (because I do!) but I was lazy and living 57 miles from the nearest town or grocery store kind of inhibits the whole “pop over to the market.”

 Overall, this was damn fine pot roast.  Just taking that first bite reminded me of all the things I love about my pot roast and miss about my mom because she was a fine cook. 

 Definitely see this again in my future…once I get through eating about 3 lbs of pot roast by myself.  I may share with my roommate.  But, I’m not making any promises!

2 August 11

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Today’s Italian dish was motivated by watching “Eat. Pray. Love.” the other day.  As I’m sitting there watching Julia Roberts eat spaghetti in Rome and pizza in Naples, all I could think is, “Damn, I really want some Italian food.”  

Columbia has some Italian offerings but most that I have tried have been rather expensive and the food wasn’t that great.  Something about seeing the redness of the spaghetti sauce made me decide to cook Italian for dinner.  

So, there I was at 4 p.m. scouring the web for easy Italian recipes that involved beef (that I was already defrosting for dinner) and tomato-based sauce.  Because, out of all the Italian sauces I’m the biggest fan of tomato-based sauces.

Ultimately, I settled on this recipe by Giada from the Food Network.

The boyfriend was quite surprised by my decision to make an Italian dish but was happy nonetheless.  After all, like me, he’s a big fan of Italian food.

After a quick trip to the grocery store, I started around 6:15 on this journey to cook a real Italian dish.

Here’s the end result:

First, contrary to the stated time, the prep time actually took longer.  Instead of 15 minutes, in reality, it was more like 20-25 minutes.  But, no biggie.  

I wholly suggest for someone trying to stuff the manicotti to just go ahead and get down and dirty.  I tried to be all professional and use a very small spoon but that turned out to be a bigger headache then necessary.  Despite the amount of manicotti (16 total) and the large baking dish I had (13x9) I had a lot more of the stuffing left. So rather then waste it, I decided to sprinkle it throughout the dish before putting on the marinara sauce and the cheeses (Mozzarella and Parmesan).

I cooked the dish a little on the longer side then stated in the recipe. Not by much, probably between 35-40 minutes.

Overall, the dish was delicious.  I could have used more sauce just for the simple fact that I LOVE it even better when I can use my garlic bread to sop up the excess sauce.  This dish definitely tasted different and better then I expected.  I think it had to do with the fact the recipe called for ricotta cheese.  It has been a long time since I had eaten ricotta cheese so I’d forgotten how it tasted.  

I was a little worried about how well the manicotti itself would come out.  The recipe called for undercooking the pasta just a little since it would be baked too.  And, anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like pasta cooked al dente.  But the manicotti came out perfectly.

The biggest proof of a job well done was looking at the boyfriend with a clean plate (no sauce left behind), a satisfied look on his face, and a “Good job.”  I had impressed the Italian foodie.

I give this recipe an A+ for its simplicity, tastiness, and the abundant leftovers for tonight.

9 June 11

Brunch for Dinner

So, about a week ago, I was eating pizza with the boyfriend.  It was your average run of the mill pizza-and-movie night.  While munching on sausage pizza, I rediscovered how much I love sausage.  For some reason, there are certain foods, healthy or unhealthy, that have fallen by the wayside for me over the years.  And, sausage is definitely one of them. 

I scoured the web looking for recipes that incorporated sausage and I eventually settled on this recipe from Allrecipes.com.  It looked simple enough.  And, admittedly, I was hooked when the recipe called for French bread.  I LOVE french bread. Also, I chose this recipe because I love to bake.  Well, I love the idea of baking.  Mixing something in a bowl, putting it in a dish, and letting it hang out in the oven for a couple of hours while I go about my day.  What’s not to love?

I have to be up front and tell you the subtle changes I made to the recipe. 

Substitutions/Omissions:

1.) I omitted one egg.  Instead of 8 eggs, I used 7 eggs.  Eight eggs just seemed excessive for a recipe.  Although I love eating eggs in all of its cooked forms, I can not stand the smell of raw eggs.  Suffice to say, I cracked the eggs pretty quickly.

2.) I substituted the Jimmy Deen sausage crumbles for the standard JD log of pork sausage.  I didn’t do this because I wanted to but because every grocery store I went to they were out of the sausage crumbles package.  By adding the log it just meant that I would have to get down and dirty with the recipe and break up the meat myself.

3.) Although this doesn’t fall into the “Substitutions/Omissions” category, I added 2 1/2 Golden delicious apples instead of 2.  The reason for this was the apples at Fresh Market were not exactly fresh (no pun intended).  I settled for the least sketchy apples I could find.

The final result:

First, just the smell of this dish baking was heavenly. The smell of sausage, apples, and warm bread baking lingered in the air.  When I pulled this dish out, I immediately smelled it.  It smelled of French toast.  Yummy french toast.  As indicated by the recipe, I did have my warm syrup handy.

Overall, I thought the dish was good.  The boyfriend had the same reaction: good but not great.  We both agreed that there was that “undeniable something” to make it better. I complied a list of things that may make this recipe even better.  These can either be done all at once or pick and choose the ones you want.

  • add pinch of nutmeg
  • add salt or pepper to the eggs
  • use hot/spicy sausage
  • brown or paritally brown the sausage (makes it more crispy and drain the excess fat off)

For me, I think the sweetness of the recipe was fine but I felt that it needed something as simple as salt and pepper.

One thing I would highly recommend is using a French baguette.  A day old French baguette is even better. Many of the reviewers of the recipe stated the recipe came out more like bread pudding.  Well, if you want to avoid that get old(er) bread.  The baguette is already pretty crusty and somewhat hard.  And, it gets harder the longer it sits out.  The great thing about that is that once you add it to the mixture, it softens up a bit but it doesn’t lose its “crustiness.”  And that is what keeps it from becoming a sopping mess.

Overall, I give this recipe a B with room for improvement. 

I’m taking the reviewers suggestions and I’m going to try it the next day.  Apparently, the longer the ingredients have to marry together the better the casserole gets.  I’ll let you know in the next post!

26 May 11

The thing about Red Velvet Cake

***After several months, here’s a post from me with a different foodie spin***

I guess you could call me a Red Velvet Cake connoisseur.  Although anything chocolate is my favorite dessert, Red Velvet Cake (RVC) is my favorite cake hands down.  From an early age, my mom always made RVC on special occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I knew as a child that there would be two glorious days in which I would get to eat the most delicious, moist cake I’ve ever tasted.  And, it didn’t hurt that my mom would let me lick the bowl and the tongs from the mixer.  (It’s the little things).  And, when my mom passed away almost 6 years ago, there was this panic in my family (my mom’s side too) because in all her years of making RVC, my mom never shared the recipe for it.  Suffice to say, the original recipe died with her.

For several years after her death, my aunts tried in vain to resurrect the tradition of RVC on Thanksgiving or Christmas but it just wasn’t the same.  But lest you think this story has a sad ending, you’ll be glad to know that it doesn’t.  Luckily my sister found a recipe for RVC that was very close to my mom’s.  I’ll never forget the first time I took a bit of real Red Velvet Cake after years of not having it.  Ever since then, no matter where I go or where I dine, if I see Red Velvet Cake on the menu, I’m definitely going to try it.  And to clarify, as much as I LOVE it, I don’t make RVC.  I don’t have the patience or the willingness to buy all of the ingredients to make my own.  

First, here are the rules, tips, and general knowledge about RVC.

1.) Color — Typically RVC is red and it can vary on the color specturm for the color red.  I learned the hard way that just because it isn’t a vibrant shade of red doesn’t means it won’t taste like Red Velvet Cake.

2.) If it tastes like chocolate…its NOT Red Velvet Cake — Believe me when I say that RVC has a very distinct flavor.  I really don’t know how to describe it. It’s indescribable.  But, when you’re eating a RVC and you close your eyes, if it tastes like chocolate it isn’t real Red Velvet Cake

3.) Can’t have RVC without the cream cheese frosting.  Enough said.

4.) Moistness — RVC is extremely moist.  It melts in you mouth.  And, regardless of how long you baked it, it always retains its moisture.  

A Red Velvet Cake Review:

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, here’s review from my latest Red Velvet Cake tasting at The Market Place in Asheville, North Carolina.  On a weekend getaway, the boyfriend and I originally intended to grab dinner at a particular restaurant downtown.  This place, reportedly, served gourmet Southern cuisine.  But, alas, when we got there we learned there was an hour and a half wait!  We opted to walk along the other shops in the hopes of finding someplace to eat.  By pure luck, we came across The Market Place.  The decor was very eclectic and the music choices were great.  Got a little Motown, Pop, R&B etc. 

After a delicious dinner, our waiter handed us the dessert menu.  Immediately my eyes zeroed in on the words “Red Velvet Cake.”  I didn’t have to say anything.  The boyfriend just knew what I would be having.

So, here’s the rundown:

Like I said, the color was a little disconcerting but once I took that first bite, I knew it was the real deal.  First, as you can see from the picture, the cream cheese frosting was not only on top but in between the different layers.  I loved it because I love cream cheese frosting.  The boyfriend, on the other hand, though it was a bit much.  

The sauce on the plate was a raspberry sauce.  This was the one thing that, although it wasn’t bad, was a minor annoyance.  Each time, I took a bite I got that hint of raspberry.  It didn’t interfere with the overall taste but I kept thinking, “Is that the raspberry sauce from the bottom of the cake or did they put it in the cake?”  It was enough to make me think that after every single bite.  That’s a touch annoying when I’m trying to enjoy all the wonderfulness that is Red Velvet Cake.

Overall, I give this cake an A.  For deliciousness, moistness, and oodles of cream cheese.  However, it doesn’t get an A+ because of the raspberry sauce intermingling with the flavors.

28 February 11

Crockpot Adventures: Part Deux

To take a break from my cookbook (besides its getting kind of pricey to make those Rachael Ray recipes), I’m making chicken and rice.  I got the recipe from the boyfriend.  There’s something about chicken and rice that takes me back to my childhood.  Not to get too personal, but its one of my mom’s recipes that I really miss since she passed away a few years ago.  Although his recipe was different, eating my boyfriend’s homemade chicken and rice made me think of one thing: mommy.  However, the two biggest changes to the recipe were substituting actual chicken “pieces” (drumstick, breast, etc) for skinless chicken tenders and cooking it in a crockpot instead of a large part.

So sit back and enjoy the ride.  My homage to my mom in my “Crockpot Adventures: Part Deux.”

The finished product

Closer look at the chicken & rice

First, let’s be real, I made some substitutions to the recipe.  

Substitution #1: In order to make this a healthier meal (because I’m in to being healthy), I substituted white rice for brown rice.  

Substitution #2: I tried, emphasis on tried, to use reduced sodium soups but Publix (boo!) didn’t have any and I wasn’t in the mood to head out to Wal-Mart.  The recipe called for 3 cans of condensed chicken soup.  I only used two cans and to change things up I added one can of condensed mushroom soup.  And, might I add it was reduced sodium.  That can of soup had been sitting in my cabinet for about a month so I thought “what the hey!” Because of the high salt content, contrary to the recipe’s instructions, I didn’t add salt.

Substitution #3: In addition to adding chopped celery, I included chopped onions and garlic (actually minced and from a can).  I have to admit I added the chopped onions because I’m a big fan of onions.  I mean, come on how does chopped onion hurt a dish?!  Also, I added this ingredient because I wanted to exercise my knife skills.  I’m so into chopping ingredients that its getting kind of ridiculous.  Something about it is mindless but mindful, if that makes sense. :)

My reaction: I loved it! It was pretty flavorful. However, while cooking I did have to make some adjustments.  The recipe called for setting the crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  But given my time constraints, I went for the former.  When I was reading other recipes, they specifically stated that if the ingredients in the pot start to bubble I should reduce the heat. So, in reality, I cooked it on high for 2 hours and then on low for 1 1/2 hours.  Everything was thoroughly cooked though!  Also I added more rice about an hour into the cooking process.  Don’t ask me why I just did.

Apparently, I’m hitting all the marks when it comes to praise from the boyfriend.  He actually said that my dish was better than and more flavorful then his! Score!  But, I digress.  The chicken tenders were nice and moist. And, the rice was perfectly cooked. (I have a tendency of undercooking rice, *shrug*)

I give this recipe a strong A.  I would most definitely make this again because of the “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality of cooking in a crockpot and the fact that I ALWAYS have chicken tenders on hand (they’re much easier to cook and defrost for the busy grad student). 

This crockpot cooking adventure was definitely a success!

21 February 11

Vegetarian Chili

Of all the recipes, I intended to try this wasn’t one of them.  My Rachael Ray recipe is marked up with post-it notes of recipes I want to try.  Occasionally, I’ll go through the book again to see if there were any recipes that I missed.  With the cold weather and the relative simplicity of the recipe I thought I would try it out.  As a departure from my previous posts, the following post is a montage of photos.  Enjoy!

Breaking in the big pot of my new cookware. 

Step 1: Saute the chopped onions, green bell peppers, jalapeño peppers and garlic.

Step 2: Add vegetable broth.

 

Side Note: To help keep me on track, I finally used the timer feature on my microwave.  Came in really handy. 

Step 3: Add a can of crushed tomatoes, black beans, and red kidney beans.

Step 4: Add cumin, chili powder, and….two other ingredients I’m not known to use in chili…

Add 6 dashes of hot sauce and…

Finally, add spicy refried beans to thicken the sauce.

Here’s the finished product:

For toppings, I added a dollop of sour cream and sliced green onions.  I was going to add cheddar cheese but there was an unfortunate incident.

My reaction: This chili was AWESOME! It’s so simple and so flavorful.  I’m definitely going to start experimenting with my normal meat chili.  The boyfriend thought it was great.  The biggest compliment from him was when he got up to get seconds. Normally, he’s not a seconds or leftovers kind of guy.  After attempting this, I’ve already got plenty of ideas about making my regular chili better.

Also, cumin is definitely one of those underrated spices.  Any time I’ve ever eaten anything seasoned with it, I’m always thinking to myself “what is that awesome spice?” and sure enough its cumin!   

Since starting this cooking experiment, my knife skills have gotten much better and, in fact, its one of the things I enjoy the most when cooking.  Actually, I set aside more time for the chopping then the actual cooking.  I like experimenting with different techniques for chopping up the veggies.  Even the boyfriend was impressed at how well I chopped the green bell peppers because he isn’t the biggest fan of them.

I give this recipe and A+ for simplicity and flavor.

Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh