Friday, December 14, 2012

Pumpkin, White Bean Chicken Chili

 What are you eating for dinner? If it's not this, then change your plans immediately. And don't forget the Cumin!

Pumpkin, White Bean Chicken Chili

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2-3 frozen chicken breasts
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 15 ounce cans drained and rinsed white beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lawry’s Garlic Salt - I use this stuff on everything!!
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  1. Saute the chopped/diced carrot, onion, and celery in the extra virgin olive oil with a bit of salt and pepper for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. 
  2. While the veggies are sauteing, combine the other ingredients in a crock pot: the frozen chicken breast, chicken broth, milk, pumpkin, beans, salt, pepper, garlic salt and cumin. When the veggies are done, add those as well and turn the crock pot on high for 4 hours or until ready to serve.
Makes 8 Servings

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

I have some great cookies for you today! I made these last week for a Christmas party at my house, and then took the left overs to a cookie exchange. Everyone loved them- especially myself. ;) I feel like any cookie that also has candy in it makes it 100x more delicious. These are particularly delicious when they are still warm out of the oven, a few minutes after you put the hershey kiss in the middle.

photo via "Bake at 350"

Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms

1 & 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa (such as Hershey's Special Dark)
1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, cut into chunks
1 & 1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon peppermint extract - not mint extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar for rolling
Hershey's Kisses

Line cookie sheets with parchment.  Preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs and extracts, beating until combined and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Gradually, add the flour mixture, beating on low just until combined.  The mixture will be very sticky.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Use a teaspoon cookie scoop (or a spoon) to scoop generous teaspoons of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets.  Place the powdered sugar on a plate.

Gently roll each ball of dough through the powdered sugar until coated.  Place back on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes, until puffed and crinkly.  (Meanwhile, unwrap the Kisses.)

Remove from the oven and immediately press a Hershey's Kiss on top of each hot cookie.  Press firmly, so that it doesn't pop off.  Let the cookies sit on the sheet for 1-2 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Italy Photos

One time I entered a photo contest.... and didn't win. I wasn't even crowned runner up. But on this blog, I am a winner. Here are some of my favorite photos from my travel study, in Italy: (China is next)






Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Purpose of A Blog

What is the purpose of a blog? Why write into a void space where you may or may not have control who reads your stuff. Some people want as much traffic as possible, and some want to monitor exactly who sees pictures of their children. To each his own, I say.

I've been thinking, what is the true purpose of my blog? Here are the phases I've gone through:

1. Art documentation
2. My Life at College
3. Food

Now what? I have so many other interests: travel, family, fitness, health coaching, photography, music, LIFE... Sometimes I want to talk about day to day stuff, but I don't want to lose the integrity of my self acclaimed "food blog". Does anyone even care, besides myself? Probably not. And for that reason, I've decided I will write about whatever I want. I'm not much of a writer though. Maybe I'll focus more on the pictures. Regardless, I thank my loyal readers and comment-ers, (MOM C.!) for your support in my quest to discover my purpose on earth: what to write my blog about! But seriously. I enjoy the freedom to write my blog and that I can change it along with my life as it also changes.

And with that, here's a little photo inspiration.....

Happy Christmas!

Temple love.

Hopeful Future Kitchen Decor

I just like this. New perspective.

DIY bow shirt

Everyone loves a PB&J. These are cute cut out with cookie cutters

My Twin: Liv Tyler. Should I name my first born daughter after her?