Log in

No account? Create an account
   Journal    Friends    Archive    Profile    Memories

The Bachelor(ette)'s Cookbook

Nov. 9th, 2008 11:57 am An Experiment in Hearty Chili

Okay, so, after a successful experiment in regular chili a few weeks ago, and with the temperature up here in the low 40s, I figured it was time to try again, and maybe mix it up just a bit. Admittedly, this is based on the "recipe" found on the back of the chili seasoning package, but still.


- Approx. 1.10-1.25 lbs lean ground beef
- 2 cans chili beans in sauce
- 1 can diced tomatos
- 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
- 1 onion
- 1 pkg chili seasoning
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic salt

- Slow cooker
- Large skillet or sauce pan
- Large mixing spoon
- Cutting board
- Knife suitable for dicing onions

1. Brown the beef in skillet, making sure to break it up into small pieces.
2. Drain the beef and put into slow cooker.
3. Peel and dice the onion. Put approx. 1 tsp of vegetable oil in the skillet along with the diced onions, and saute the onions. Watch out for those onions... just peeling the thing had me crying big ol' tears before I could finish, man alive...
4. Add onions to the beef in the slow cooker.
5. Add both cans of chili beans, can of diced tomatos, and can of tomato sauce to slow cooker.
6. Add in desired amount of black pepper and garlic salt.
7. Add in chili seasoning. NOTE: How much to add depends on taste and amount in package. I buy a "slow cooker" package, which actually has enough for about twice this amount of chili, so I add in half to three-quarters of the package. YMMV, however, on how much to do.
8. Stir the hell out of the mix in the slow cooker for several minutes to ensure a nice mixture of ingredients and seasonings.
9. Put the lid on the slow cooker, and turn it on LOW.
10. Cook for 8 hours.
11. Serve with shredded cheese and oyster crackers as desired. Makes approximately 6 servings.

Current Music: Bear McCreary feat.Bt4 - All Along The Watchtower

Leave a comment

Apr. 16th, 2008 07:39 pm A cooking question

(crossposted from my own journal)

Okay, so I've got a skillet that's coated with the usual non-stick coating. Naturally, I can't use my metal spatula on it, else it would tear up the coating.

HOWEVER, it seems like every time I use a plastic spatula, the leading edge melts a bit. And it does it more every time. This is even when I'm not resting it there - I've had it happen when the only times I've used it were to flip grilled cheese sandwiches. I mean, I assume it's not a carbon build-up, cuz it doesn't want to come off easily, and feels more like the plastic itself.

So... anybody got any suggestions? (Besides just turn the heat down.) Maybe suggestions for better brands of cookware to buy that won't do this?

2 comments - Leave a comment

Aug. 29th, 2007 10:14 am Chocolate pancakes and rava sheera

I've been making these a lot recently, because they don't need anything strange so I don't have to go to the shops to get anything for them. If you don't have semolina lying around, you should have. Go get some. Both recipes are vegan, incidentally; although you can use milk instead of water if you can tolerate the lactose.

Chocolate Pancakes
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
a pinch of salt
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

Mix together all the dry ingredients. Add the water; add more or less depending on your taste in pancakes. Fold together until just combined - do not mix until smooth! The lumps are good, and over-mixing will make the pancakes tough.

Put a frying pan on a medium-high stove, and if you have a half-decent frying pan you won't need to put any oil in beforehand; if you really want to, though, enough butter or margarine to cover the bottom will last the whole batch. Spoon out the batter in whatever sized dollops you prefer; cook until the holes in the batter stay open, then flip and cook the other side.

Note that despite the sugar, these are not sweet pancakes; the sugar is only enough to balance the cocoa. Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable and not at all decadent to eat them served with chocolate sauce. They do not reheat very well at all, so share them around and eat them all at once.

Rava Sheera
1/2 cup semolina
roughly 1 cup of chopped, fresh fruit of some description
1 3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamon (or to taste - I usually put more in)

Dry-fry the semolina over a medium heat, stirring regularly. Cook until it turns a little darker, or just for a couple of minutes. Put this into a bowl and set it aside.

Cook the chopped fruit and 3/4 of the water using the microwave. High for 2-3 minutes is fine. If you object to microwaves, then don't use one. Pretty much any fresh fruit is good for this - I've used oranges and paw-paw with good results. Canned fruit is fine, but since this recipe is forgiving with the sort of fruit you use it's a good excuse to use up that last something you have sitting there. A whole orange is about the right amount of fruit.

Boil 1 cup of water, add the sugar to it, and cook over low heat, stirring regularly, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cooked fruit and the water it was in, and the cardamon. Cardamon is the traditional spice for rava sheera, but you can use whatever you have/whatever works. I like ground cloves if I am using oranges, and ground coriander goes well with paw-paw.

Now add the semolina, slowly, stirring as you add it. It forms lumps very easily. It's best to use a whisk for this. Once all the semolina has been added, cook over a low heat for another couple of minutes.

Serve in a bowl with fresh fruit, yoghurt, custard, ice cream, or all of the above.

3 comments - Leave a comment

Jan. 18th, 2007 07:31 pm Creamy Chicken Noodle

Hey- somebody said I should post some of the recipes from my cooking blog so I thought I'd share one with y'all. It's targeted at my fellow students but everyone likes quick and easy cooking somethyme

chicken Noodle Dream
1. 2-3 chicken breasts diced
2. 1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom soup (condensed) plus 1 can water
3. 1 tbsp of each: garlic powder and italian seasoning
4. salt to taste


Method 1: Stove top
1.Saute chicken in a med. hot pan that has been drizzled with oil, butter, cooking spray, etc.
2. Season with garlic powder and salt
3. add soup plus water
4. mix to combine
5. turn on low heat and simmer for 5 minutes

Method 2: Microwave
1. Microwave chicken in one even layer for 5-7 minutes until it's done. (microwaves do vary so check please!)
2. Drain any excess juices.
3. mix remaining ingredients
4. Heat for 2 minutes or until heated through.

Enjoy with spaghetti, rice, or yes even mashed potatoes.

For more recipes please visit my cooking blog

Leave a comment

Aug. 25th, 2006 08:26 am bachelor's chicken parmigiana

1 serving frozen, breaded chicken strips
spaghetti sauce
1 serving spaghetti
shredded parmesan cheese (or mozzarella or whatever, if you don't like parm)
to taste:
salt & pepper, garlic, oregano

boil water for pasta. heat a skillet with a bit of oil in it (i skipped the oil and regretted it, even though i used a non-stick skillet) over medium heat. salt the water and add spaghetti when it boils. when the pan is hot, add premade chicken strips (no dredging needed!) in a single layer and cover with spaghetti sauce. add salt & pepper, garlic or garlic powder, oregano and whatever else you want. (i put in a couple of spoonfuls of canned, diced tomatoes i kept from making salsa earlier to give it a better texture and a bit of a fresh flavor. lemon juice or zest would also be nice.) flip the strips, recover with sauce and cheese. cover the skillet with a lid. drain the pasta, plate it, and slide or spoon the chicken and sauce on top. garnish however you like!

i actually used 1 chicken strip and some chicken nuggets from the podunk grocery and i'll tell ya, the strip was a far better consistency; the nuggets wound up kinda mealy (still tasty, though). however, having oil in the pan probably would have helped that a little. so. there's that, for what it's worth.

anyway. easy, 3 ingredients and some spices you probably already have, expandable... ba-da-bing! you can benefit from my laziness and lack of planning!

now, i'm gonna go eat out all weekend.

Leave a comment

Aug. 25th, 2006 07:54 am a-HA!

i figured out why i couldn't find the frozen food article i was going to share the other day. anyway, here's the link and i'll post the recipes in seperate posts to make them easier to tag and find later.

Leave a comment

Aug. 24th, 2006 09:57 pm grilled philly parmesan

last night's experiment, which turned out deliciously:

2 slices frozen garlic bread
1-2 slices deli roast beef (steakums'd be good, too)
3 thin slices of onion
roasted red pepper strips (i used 2 forkfuls of vlasic's jarred ones)
2 tbls (approximately) mayo (ok, miracle whip)
grated parmesan (in the green shaker can, nothing special)
grill seasoning salt (i sued lawry's)
shredded parmesan or sliced swiss or whatever turns you on, if desired

partially cook frozen garlic bread - i set the oven to preheat and put the bread in then and by the time the oven heated up they were ready. drain and pat dry peppers (important!); puree peppers & mayo together. i used a blender, but a food processor would've been better, i think. heat skillet with a bit of oil, slice onions and cut up roast beef into whatever size chunks or slices you want. sprinkle with pepper and seasoning salt, saute until onions are transparent and floppy. remove bread from oven when it's hot all through but still soft. turn it over so the crustier, toasted side is up, spread with red pepper mayo (the crust keeps it from soaking through too much). layer on beef and onions, add cheese if you want, put on the top and squish it all together. c'mon, you know how to assemble a sammich. heh. if your garlic bread isn't the kind buttered on both sides, butter the outsides of the sandwich and buy a different brand next time. =D sprinkle grated parmesan on top pretty generously, place the cheesed side down in the skillet, and dust the other side with parmesan as well. grill a minute or two on both sides to crustify the cheese.

"crustify" is TOO a word.

let cool before eating. ouch.

do i have to say it - the variations are endless. turkey & bacon. leave out the onions but saute peppers to go with the mayo. i'd have piled on mushrooms if i'd had any left. add jalapenos (ooo! i might have to try that next time) and mix fajita seasoning in your mayo instead of the pureed pepper. improvise!

fries or chips would go well with this, as would a salad or soup.

honestly, folks, i'm scrounging stuff from the ex's fridge while i dog sit to make this stuff. it seems fancier than a frozen pizza and... well, sometimes you don't even have a frozen pizza. *grin* it's gotta be healthier, too.

Leave a comment

Aug. 23rd, 2006 04:58 pm veggie tortilla pizza

i made this last night with, literally, a poor, lonely tortillia i found (sealed) in the door of the fridge, some condiments, and the leftover veggies i had from making the spicy beef pasta two nights ago. it came about from standing in front of the fridge going "what am i gonna eat, anyway?" it's just like all those so-called meals made from leftover kfc potatoes and gravy, a slice of american cheese and some green salsa - only better.

i had a scoop of store-bought coleslaw and a glass of milk with this and it was plenty, but you could have a salad or rice or steamed veggies or maybe breadsticks... or just make two of them.

as always, all amounts are approximate and to taste (i didn't use much of anything, though, the amounts are less than you think you'll need), though i'll add the amounts i used in parentheses.

veggie tortilla pizza

1 flour tortilla (one. *grin* 8")
onion (about 1/5 of a small one)
mushrooms (2 medium)
grape tomatoes (10-12 grape, roasted)
shredded pizza cheese mix (one handful, about 1/4 cup)
butter or olive oil (1/2 to 3/4 pat o' buttah)
minced garlic (1/3 forkful)
ranch dressing (1 dollop)
bacon bits (1 pinch)
oregano (to taste)
cilantro (to taste)

preheat oven to 375, place tortilla on baking sheet. chop onion, mushrooms and tomatoes, saute onions and mushrooms in a little oil or a sprayed non-stick pan with the bacon bits until the mushrooms start to reduce a little. remove from pan, remove pan from heat, add butter (or oil), garlic, and dollop of ranch dressing. stir until butter melts and ingredients combine. spread onto tortilla. add onion-n-mushrooms and tomatoes. sprinkle with a little oregano, rosemary, or basil if desired. add parmesan pizza cheese mix and garnish with parsley, if used (flat leaf parsley or cilantro is best, IMO... i always have frozen cilantro on hand) or maybe some crushed red pepper flakes. bake for about 8 minutes.


this is fairly low-cal if you go easy on the cheese (i think cheese is a food group unto itself and i'm tellin' ya, it really doesn't need much). as prepared, it's around 225 calories, i think. if you cut it into smallish pieces it'd also make a good appetizer for potlucking or entertaining or even for yourself. fancy-snacky, we'll say.

variations are endless. use fresh diced tomatoes. use spinach and artichoke hearts and capers. leave out the ranch dressing. use sauteed eggplant, tomatoes, and bell peppers. put olives on it if you want (*shudder*). say the hell with the garlic sauce altogether and spoon premade pizza or spaghetti sauce on it (our friend, 'member?) and add a few slices of pepperoni and some mozerella (i'd still advise brushing olive oil on the tortilla because it gives it a nice crisp). add one scrambled egg, a crumbled sausage patty, shredded cheddar - you've got breakfast pizza!

i'm sure you get the idea. use what's in your fridge. i don't really post recipes, i post suggestions.

5 comments - Leave a comment

May. 11th, 2006 07:54 am Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 pound of chicken (chopped up)
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
10 oz. Enchilada Sauce
2 tb. Minced onion
½ tsp. garlic salt

Mix all of this together.

Take one bag of tortilla chips and smash. Put ¾ of the smashed chips on the bottom of 13x9 baking dish. Then put mixture on top.

Cover top of mixture with one bag of shredded cheese and remaining tortilla chips.

Then take 1 cup of boiling water and dissolve 2 chicken bouillion cubes and pour over casserole.

Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly all around.

Leave a comment

Mar. 9th, 2006 07:23 pm PastaExpress

Ok, so it looked good on TV and I figured I'd try it. I'm always doing pasta and figured it looked like it worked and would be simpler.

I tried it out tonight. My first hurdle was finding a container large enough to boil enough water for the unit in the microwave. This is when I figured out that it takes forever to boil that much water in the microwave. Once I got the water into the PastaExpress with the pasta, the instructions said it takes 7-10 minutes to cook. When it was supposed to be done, I drained the pasta and started eating. It was definitely a bit underdone for my tastes. All in all, it would have been easier, and faster for me to use a pot on the stove.

Leave a comment

Back a Page