Crispy Chorizo Bites


If you’re like me, you think of all these fantastic little appetizers long before the big celebrated day, Superbowl Sunday, arrives. I know, its all about the game. But if you fail to have a fantastic repertoire of football food on the big day, you may as well kiss your win goodbye.


My hubby loves having a spicy Sunday breakfast of fresh tortilla’s, chorizo & eggs, so I always try to have a stash in the freezer. It’s a Southwestern staple here, and it seems to keep us satisfied all the way until dinner. Many know it in it’s Spanish, sausage like form, however, you can find it in its ground, Mexican form at your local grocers. If it’s not available in your corner of the country, you can always by ground meat and add chorizo seasoning from the ethnic foods section of your local market yourself.


I was trying to think of something different that I could make for Superbowl Sunday, with ingredients I already had on hand, when I came up with this spicy little appetizer. I’m one of “those people”, that always has cream cheese, fresh garlic, and puff pastry lying around. Seems as long as you have those, drop in guests and a 4 ingredient appy are only minutes away.

Crispy Chorizo Bites

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed in refrigerator
1- 8 oz package room temperature cream cheese
1 head fresh garlic, roasted , cooled
1 lb ground chorizo, mild, medium, or hot (your choice), fully pre- cooked and drained

Remove thawed puff pastry from refrigerator and on a lightly floured surface, roll out each with rolling pin to enlarge about an inch, and remove folded seams.

Squeeze cooled garlic out of skins into softened cream cheese. Blend well, but don’t worry about completely smashing chunks of garlic. Divide and spread evenly between the 2 sheets of puff pastry.

Divide and spread cooked chorizo over the garlic- cream cheese mixture. From the widest end, roll up each of the sheets of puff pastry into a long log. Slice into 1/2″ pinwheels.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (easier clean up, but not necessary), and bake in a pre-heated 400F oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and flaky.

Approximately 40 Chorizo bites.

Cooked up by Janet ~ Got a comment?

Hearty Half Time Chili


In September of 1999, my dear friend, Cindy, emailed me a chili recipe that sat in my inbox forever before I finally tried it. I absolutely love chili- the chunkier, the better, in my opinion. But this one was, uh, weird.

It had Keilbasa in it.

I live in Arizona.

That is wrong.


Well, I finally got around to making it about New Years day 2000, and I have to say, much like in her email, it is my favorite ALL TIME recipe for chili. I did add some spices that weren’t in her original recipe- cinnamon, dark cocoa powder, and Pasilla Ancho Chili powder- they gave it the unique depth of flavor I love.

The seasonings are approximate for my tastes, but you can always add or subtract according to yours. And the Keilbasa- I couldn’t imagine it without it- it’s fabulous!


Hearty Half Time Chili

recipe adapted from Cindy Geery

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork (or Italian sausage with casings removed)
1 lb Keilbasa cut into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs Pasilla Ancho Chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1-1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs dark cocoa powder
Cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
2- 28oz cans cut tomatoes (do not drain)
1- 14.5oz can plain tomato sauce
1- 28oz can kidney beans (drained)
1- 28 oz can black beans

Optional toppings:

Grated Cheddar
Chopped green onions
Sour Cream

In a large dutch oven, brown ground beef with sausage, onion, Pasilla Ancho chili, cumin and garlic.

Then add keilbasa, remaining seasonings, and tomatoes. Simmer about 10 minutes and then add beans.

Evaluate and adjust seasonings to your taste, let simmer and allow flavors to meld for about 30 minutes.

Serve topped with grated cheddar, green onion, and sour cream.

Cooked up by Janet ~ Got a comment?

Apricot-Peach Cobbler


There’s a lot of excitement going on over here- any day now will be the birth of my first granddaughter! Yup, we know it’s a girl. She will be my oldest daughters first baby, and my first grandchild… I still haven’t gotten used to it! As you know, cravings abound during pregnancy, and my daughter has had her share. One of these was for my apricot-peach cobbler. A long time since I’ve made it, I had forgotten just how incredible the house smells while it’s baking!


I had come across the recipe about 20 years ago, in one of those solicitations sent in the mail to get you to purchase recipe cards. Well, I never ordered the cards, but I did save the little freebie they sent, which happened to be for this cobbler.

My sister sent me a desperate email about 10 years ago, asking for the recipe. So I emailed her back right away, sending her my adaptation of the recipe. Well, over the last 10 years or so, my written recipe card with all of it’s handwritten changes, has disappeared. So I ended up having to email my sister one desperate day for her to email it back to me… I’m so glad she saved it! However, now I haven’t any idea where the recipe originated from. In any case, it’s one cobbler recipe you’ll be sure to hang on to. Warm, sweet, bubbly, and over the top pregnancy craving delicious!

Apricot-Peach Cobbler

Filling

1 can sliced Apricots, 28 oz, in lite syrup- reserve syrup
1 can sliced Peaches, 28 oz, in lite syrup- reserve syrup
4 Tbs cornstarch
1 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 c of reserved syrup
2 Tbs butter, melted

Cobbler Crust

1 c flour
1-1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbs melted butter
2 eggs, beaten

Spray a 13×9 baking pan with non-stick spray. Add Apricots and peaches. Set aside.

In a 2 qt saucepan blend together all of the dry ingredients for the filling- cornstarch, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then add the reserved syrup and butter, then blend well with a small whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce to a simmer, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes thickened and somewhat clear, about 15 minutes. Pour thickened mixture over fruit.

In a medium bowl blend together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add beaten egg and melted butter. Mix until just combined.

With a spoon, drop or drizzle the thick batter over the top of the fruit. Don’t worry about how it looks because it will spread out evenly on its own.

Bake at 350 for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is completely cooked through and not runny underneath. Serve while warm and bubbly with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves approximately 8-10 people.

Cooked up by Janet ~ Got a comment?

Chickpea Salad


Well Happy New Year Y’all! It just occurred to me that I haven’t hung out over here since November. I’ve made lots of fattening things since then. I’m also fairly certain that during this time, I’ve gone through 50 lbs of flour, an equal amount of sugar, and at least 30 lbs of butter. It was a tasty month or so.

I love butter.

But for those who are starting afresh and new in 2011, here’s a tasty little salad I adapted from one over at allrecipes.com . It called for canned garbanzo beans, red onion, and just a tablespoon of lemon juice. I only had green onions, dried chickpeas (I soaked overnight), and used the juice of a whole lemon instead.

In any case, it was a pretty tasty & healthy salad. A nice directional shift after climbing my slippery mountain of butter.

Chickpea Salad
adapted from allrecipes.com

1 c dried chickpeas (soaked overnight in 2 c water)
2 green onions, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 c flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
1-3 Tbs olive oil, or to taste
Juice of 1 medium lemon
kosher salt- to taste
fresh cracked pepper- to taste

After soaking the chickpeas overnight, place in a 2 qt saucepan with soaking water, and add enough additional water to cover about an inch more. Bring to a boil and then let simmer about 45 minutes, but don’t allow to get mushy. Drain when done and let cool. Add remaining ingredients, and stir. Let chill before serving. Serves about 4.

Cooked up by Janet ~ Got a comment?

Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Marshmallow Pops


I love this time of year. The scents are amazing. The treats that have been hiding all year long have finally come out to play!

I think just everyone loves marshmallows and chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t love a s’more? But this time of year it’s time for a little twist- a peppermint twist! These creamy marshmallows are dipped in dark chocolate, then topped in crunchy peppermint. They are crazy good on their own, but when you dunk them in a hot cup of coffee, amazing things happen… They are so easy, you gotta give them a try!

Chocolate Dipped Peppermint Marshmallow Pops

6 marshmallows
1 c dark chocolate candy melts
1/2 c crushed peppermints or candy canes
6 candy sticks (wood or paper)
6 red gummy candies for garnish
Foam platform, to hold pops

Place peppermint candies in a small bag. Crush with a rolling pin or a mallet until pieces are small. Set aside.

Melt candy melts in microwave. Place sticks into marshmallows, and one at a time, dip into chocolate coating evenly. Lightly tap stick on edge of bowl to remove excess chocolate. This may take a few seconds- you do not want the chocolate to drip down sides while cooling. Once excess is removed, place the sticks standing up in the foam board. You can then place in the fridge or the freezer to set quicker.

After chocolate is set, dip just the top end and edges once again into the melted chocolate, and then immediately into the crushed peppermints. Place onto the foam board once again. On the very top center of the marshmallow/ peppermint, place a small dot of chocolate. Then place a gummy candy on top.

No need to refrigerate… Just enjoy!

Cooked up by Janet ~ Got a comment?
Kudos, props and standing ovations...