Stephany’s Mouth Waterin’ Chili Recipe

No matter what the season, slow cooker chili is a MUST in this house.  I make it at least once a month because we just can’t get enough of it.  I wanted to share my recipe with all of you so you can try it for yourself.  I guarantee, it will also become a monthly staple meal in your home.  (As long as you like spice, that is!)  It’s a super simple to prepare meal that delivers “OH MY GOD!” results.

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Ingredients:

1-2 lbs stew meat

1 lb hot ground pork sausage

3 cans S&W chili beans

1 can (15-16 oz) tomato sauce

2 packages McCormick hot chili seasoning

1 can or glass jar of sliced jalapenos

5 habaneros

minced garlic (use as much or as little as you like)

Step 1

Brown the stew meat and ground sausage in a skillet (I use a large deep skillet and do them both together because they end up in the same crockpot anyways).  Once the meat is mostly cooked, add it to the crockpot.

Step 2

Add in your chili beans, tomato sauce, chili seasoning packets, half of your jalapenos AND half of the jalapeno juice from the jar, habaneros, and garlic.  Mix together.  Set slow cooker to low and in about 6 hours you have the most amazing tasting chili you’ve ever had 🙂

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If you’d like, top with some shredded cheese and sprinkle in crackers.

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Black Forest Banana Bread Recipe

I love, love LOVE baking!  Recently I’ve gotten a few new cookbooks and have been really enjoying putting them to use.  One of my favorite new cookbooks is Dump Cakes by Cathy Mitchell.

Banana bread has always been a favorite of mine since I was a kid.  When I found an awesome twist on it in the Dump Cakes cookbook I knew I was going to try that first above anything else.  I hope all of you try this for yourself and see how amazing it is 🙂

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BLACK FOREST BANANA BREAD:

1 jar (10 ounces) maraschino cherries

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cups chopped pecans (I used walnuts)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Drain cherries, reserving 2 tablespoons of the juice.  Coarsely chop the cherries.

Combine brown sugar and butter in large bowl; beat with electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes or until creamy.  Beat in bananas, eggs and reserved cherry juice until well blended.  Stir in chopped cherries, chocolate chips, and pecans (or whatever type of nut you choose to use if any).  Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did, and remember, this is just one of the simply amazing things available in Cathy Mitchell’s Quick and Easy Dump Cakes and More

***No compensation was given of any kind.  I bought this cookbook for myself, and absolutely love it.  My post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Cathy Mitchell or anyone associated with her***

Home-Made Playdough Recipe

If you’re looking for something fun and entertaining for the kid while still easy and inexpensive, I have the perfect thing for you. I have been making playdough for my kids for years. With this simple recipe, your kids are sure to have hours of fun. (They also love helping make it and watch it transform from liquid to solid.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups salt
2 tbsp oil
3 cups water
1 tbsp cream of tartar

In a large pot, whisk all the ingredients together until well blended (now is where you would also add in any food coloring you want). On your stovetop, heat the mixture on medium/medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. When the dough starts to form into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the pan it’s ready!

I love this playdough because it’s 100% edible (although it won’t taste good), and non-toxic. Store it in a Ziploc bag until it gets too hard to play with and then you can have fun making more 🙂 .

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This is what it will look like when you whisk it all together.

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This is what it looks like when done heating. There will be little flakes stuck to the bottom and sides like you see here, it washed right off and won’t harm the pot you’re using.

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After about 10-15 minutes cooling you’re ready to play!

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Cookie cutters make for great fun!

Stephany’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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After being let down time and time again by many chocolate chip cookie recipes, I came up with my own! I hope you all enjoy my take on an awesome chocolate chip cookie!

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp Country Crock Original, melted, cooled until warm
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 325 degreed

In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Mix together butter and both sugars until well combined. Beat in egg (plus extra yolk) and vanilla. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded spoonfulls onto cookie sheet. Add 3 or 4 extra chocolate chips to the top of each ball of dough. (More for visual appeal than anything else). Bake cookies for 12 minutes, and allow to cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before moving to cooling rack to finish cooling.

Stephany’s Tamale Recipe

It has taken me a long time to expirement with seasonings to get my tamales just right. I figured I would share my recipe so you guys won’t have to go through so much trial and error. It has taken me a few years, but I think I’ve got it!

Here’s what you’ll need:
3 Cups MASECA Tamal
3 Cups of water or broth
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 cup lard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground white pepper
2 tsp ground NM chili pepper
Corn husks
Meat
Cheese (optional)

Before you begin mixing, start soaking your corn husks in a large bowl of water to become pliable.

Place your Maseca, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and chili pepper in large bowl. Mix together with either warm broth from your meat you’ve cooked ( I use leftover roast! Save the broth for great seasoning, and you can reseason the meat after it’s shredded, and it comes out delicious!) or warm water until mixed well.

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At this point, you should have something that looks like this.

Put your lard in a small/medium mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until white and fluffy.

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Here’s what your lard should look like when you’re done with the mixer.

Mix the lard into the dry/wet mixture you created earlier. Mixing with your hands is really the only way to go. When you’re done you want the masa to be spongy, but not stick to your hands.

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I don’t know if you can tell a difference between this picture and the previous one like it, but after the lard has been added the masa isn’t as crumbly. I forgot the lard one time and initially it tasted ok, but it was really dense and didn’t hold together well.

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Here is what my roast looks like after it’s been shredded and re-seasoned. I shock people when they find out what it is!

Once you’ve got everything all mixed, you’re ready to make your tamales!

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Put a good amount of masa on your corn husk and pat it into place.

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Fill with meat.

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If you feel like it, add cheese! This was the first time I did and it was yummy!

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Fold into traditional tamale, and steam for about 30-45 minutes.

This recipe usually makes about 2 dozen tamales. If you want the great taste of tamales without all the preparation…try making a tamale pie! Use a 9″ round cake pan. Fill the bottom and sides with the prepared masa. Then fill with meat, (cheese?) or any other toping you want. Top with more masa and pop it in the oven!

Thera Pearl Back Wrap Review and Giveaway

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Thera Pearl is an amazing company that I was unfortunately unaware of. I’m glad I found them! The Thera Pearl Back Wrap is an item I’m already wondering how I was living without it!

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As soon as I got my back wrap, I couldn’t wait to open it up and put it in the fridge. I’m really glad that I did! My oldest son is allergic to insect stings and has extreme swelling. Getting him to keep an ice pack on is impossible, so the swelling gets worse than it needs to. He was stung by a wasp on his shoulder while hunting for lizards and Thera Pearl came to the rescue!

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We got it around his shoulder with ease, and the cool pack stayed where we needed it!

My husband suffers from lower back pain from working, and he hates being plugged into a wall with a heating pad. Again Thera Pearl came to the rescue!

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I heated mine for about 50 seconds and it felt so amazing, I wanted to steal it and use it for no reason. Mother nature didn’t wait long to offer me a use for it. Ladies, that time of the month is uncomfortable, but you can wear Thera Pearl around your abdomen and not be stuck to an outlet. I was able to do my dishes while getting my heat to help the pain.

Everyone needs to own a Thera Pearl Back Wrap! These things are amazing!!

GIVEAWAY!!! Thera Pearl has also been generous enough to sponsor a giveaway! One lucky winner will receive their very own Thera Pearl Back Wrap! Giveaway will begin 7/4/13 at 12:00 am EST and end on 7/11/13 at 12:00 am EST. Winner will have 24 hours to claim prize or another winner will be chosen. All giveaway entries will be validated. Winner will be chosen randomly by rafflecopter.com. Click the link below to enter:

Enter Giveaway Here

***I did not receive any compensation from Thera Pearl, simply their product free to me in exchange for my honest opinion***

Stephany’s Lasagna Recipe

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Here’s what you need to make my delicious lasagna.

-1 box lasagna noodles (I prefer Barilla)
-1 lb ground country sausage
-1 lb ground beef
-15 oz ricotta cheese
-12 oz part-skim low moisture mozerella cheese
-48 oz traditional pasta sauce

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Brown your sausage

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Brown your ground beef

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Pour a small amount of sauce from jar into bottom of pan. This will keep the base noodles from burning and becoming hard. Mix remaining sauce with both sausage and ground beef after you have drained them of fat.

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Here’s how I like to layer it…noodles…

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Meat and sauce mixture…

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Mozerella that you’ve thinly sliced…

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Ricotta cheese, then repeat. I usually do 3 layers, and the top layer is finished off with remaining sauce.

Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and you’re good to go!

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Here it is fresh out of the oven…delicious!