Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wendy's Copycat Chili

First let's start with a disclaimer:  I don't think this tastes a lot like Wendy's chili.  I had Wendy's chili a few weeks ago and then I made this and don't think it's exactly the same.  BUT  I think this is better.  I really do.  It is just delicious.  And you need to know that chili is the one food I don't really like.  I had an unfortunate chili incident in the school lunch room in 2nd grade and have hated it since.  So for me to say it's really delicious, you have to know it's really delicious.

Wendy's Copycat Chili
2 pounds lean ground beef (I know that sounds like a lot, but don't cut it.  It's a big part of why this is so good.)
1 quart tomato juice
1 can crushed tomatoes or I think you could use diced (15 oz)
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto or black beans, drained
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced bell pepper
1/8-1/4 cup chili powder ( I used a little over 1/8 and it was perfect for us)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic crystals or powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon- 1/4 cup sugar  (I know, it's a big range. The recipe said 1 teaspoon, but I wanted more.  Maybe that's why it didn't taste like Wendy's and maybe that's why I liked it better!)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes (more if you want it spicy)

In a large pot (I used enameled cast iron), brown the ground beef with the onion.  Add all of the other ingredients and mix well.  Let simmer for at least an hour- longer if possible.  Stir frequently.  Serve with grated cheese on the top and corn muffins on the side.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Egg Bread for French Toast

I found this recipe on the Internet and made it so that I could make Cherry Stuffed French Toast.  It is wonderful for French Toast but it's also really good just to eat as bread or for sandwiches.   It makes wonderful garlic bread as well.  The original instructions were to make it by hand, but I altered it to make in my Bosch mixer.

Egg Bread
5-7 cups bread flour
2 pkg. active dry yeast
2 cups whole milk (use whole if you have it.  It really makes a difference)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp. salt
3 large eggs

In the mixer with the dough hook, mix together about 3 cups of the flour and the yeast.  In a saucepan on the stove, stirring constantly,  heat the milk, sugar, butter and salt until butter is almost melted and it's baby bottle temperature.  Add the milk mixutre to the flour mixture and turn on the mixer.  Mix for a minute, then add one egg.  Mix for awhile and add another.  Mix for awhile and add the last.  Beat on high speed for about three minutes after the eggs are added.  Then add another cup of flour and beat.  Add just enough more flour to make a nice, elastic dough that clings together.  Knead for about 6 minutes.  Turn off the machine and put the lid on (if available.  If not, cover with a cloth)  Let rise until double.  Turn the machine on to punch down.  Take dough out of the machine and divide into two equal portions.  Shape into 2 loaves.  Place in two well-sprayed loaf pans.  Cover and let rise until almost double.  It will take about 30-40 minutes depending on the warmth of your kitchen.  Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes until golden.  Cool on a wire rack.  Slice in desired thickness.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Cherry or Blueberry Stuffed French Toast

While on our vacation to Door County, Wisconsin, we breakfasted at the White Gull Inn.  A couple of years ago, Good Morning America had a contest for "The Best Breakfast in America!"  They narrowed it to four finalists and traveled to those locations and tasted the food and filmed the preparation, etc.  The White Gull Inn was one of the finalists.  Then, after the four shows aired, America voted and the Cherry Stuffed French Toast at the White Gull Inn won as "The Best Breakfast in America."  Since we were staying just a couple of miles from the White Gull Inn, we had to try it.  And it was delicious!
After we got home, I found the recipe online and created my own version.  I first made egg bread.  You need Texas Toast or Egg Bread, unsliced.  That was not available here, so I made my own.  I will post that recipe soon.  The reason it needs to be unsliced is that you need pretty thick slices.- 1 1/4".   I chose to use fresh blueberries instead of the canned cherries.  So here you go - the recipe for the best breakfast in America!

Cherry or Blueberry Stuffed French Toast
1 loaf egg bread, unsliced
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 cup tart cherries, drained or 1 cup fresh blueberries
3-4 eggs
1/2-3/4 cup milk
Cinnamon, for sprinkling
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
Maple Syrup

Narrowly trim the ends from the loaf of bread.  Then cut the bread into  6 -1 1/4 inch slices.  Then take each slice and cut almost to the bottom, but leave it attached.  This is how you make the pocket for the filling.  Mix together the softened cream cheese with 3/4 of the blueberries.  You may want to crush some of the blueberries and leave some whole( I left mine whole, but decided next time I would crush some.)  Spread the filling in each pocket.  Mix together the egg and milk.  Dip the stuffed slices into the egg mixture on each side.  Heat a griddle.  Sprinkle each side of the french toast with cinnamon.  Cook over medium heat until golden brown , then turn and cook the other side until golden brown.  Remove from the griddle and cut each toast in half diagonally.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Top with the remaining cherries or blueberries.   Serve with maple syrup.  Then enjoy the best breakfast in America!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Favorite Easy, Quick, Healthy Dinners that Kids Will Eat

I texted all of those beautiful girls you see at the top and asked them which of the recipes on Hungry Hintons they used the most.  They are all BUSY moms and some of their children are pretty picky eaters.  So the criteria is that the recipes need to be easy to make, not take much time, healthy, and that the kids (or at least most of them) will eat it.  Here are the results:
Kristen has four kids ages 2-9.  She is busy!  She said her go-to dinners are:
Guiltless Alfredo over pasta with Whole Wheat Garlic Yogurt Breadsticks

Tandoori Chicken over Rice  - her kids love this stuff, and who wouldn't.  It is so delicious!

Thai  Coconut Curry over Rice- the recipe and pictures show it with shrimp, but it can be made with any protein.  I think she usually uses chicken.
Vegetable Tuscan Orzo- easy and yummy every time!

Shonna- Shonna has three children ages 1 1/2- 5.  They aren't good monitors for what children will eat because her children will eat anything!  They'll at least try anything, and they like most everything.  Hey, the five-year-old was recently begging me for more beet greens with balsamic!  Once when given a milkshake, he took a sip, gave it back and asked if he could have some more beans instead.
But she said her family's favorite is the Guiltless Alfredo over Angel Hair Pasta.

Michelle- Michelle also has three children ages 10 months - 6 years.  Her favorites are:
Bean and Corn Salad:  She hadn't realized the recipe wasn't on here.  Maybe she'll post it?  But here's the link:  http://grandmasrolls.blogspot.com/search?q=bean+and+corn+salad
Taco Pasta Salad ( I know Shonna makes this a lot, too.)

Thai Chicken Noodles
It's been awhile since I had kids at home, but I think the following would be a hit with kids:
Chicken Mozzarella Pasta- serve with garlic bread and a salad or vegetable.  Fast and so yummy.
Kay's Conglomerate Burgers- who doesn't like a good burger?  Keep some frozen beef patties in the freezer and make these on a busy night.
Baked Eggs  - most kids like eggs and they are fast.  Serve with toast and fruit or a smoothie or my favorite, Orange Julius.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Cajun Pasta

Cajun Pasta:
It is super easy to make and also is really easy to adapt the recipe to your taste preferences.

This is the recipe for the cajun seasoning: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/cajun-spice-mix-2/
*(I usually cut down the cayenne pepper to half because it's pretty spicy if not. -Which Blake loves, but the kids not so much ;)

I melt a little butter and saute the chicken first and then add the veggies (peppers, onions, and mushrooms) cooking until tender. Then I add all of the seasoning + 1/4 tsp basil, stirring to coat everything. After that I add 1 cup of cream (or 3/4 cup cream + 1/4 cup milk) and 1/4 cup of parmesan. Then I combine it with a package of cooked pasta. We like to top it with diced tomatoes, lime juice, and a little more parmesan when we serve it.

Again, another Robyn recipe.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What's For Dinner? - September

Again, we'll be gone a lot of this month, (we must be retired or something!) but here's what's cookin' at our house for the month of September:
Fish Tacos- they were on last month's menu, but I didn't get them made.  For sure this month!

 Labor Day Barbecue- Marinated Grilled Steaks, Corn on the cob, Fruit Salad, Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

 Tandoori Chicken- over cauliflower (delicious over rice, too).  Kristen made this for us when we were there.  It is absolutely delicious.  If you haven't tried it, you must!!!  You simply must!

. Kay's Conglomerate Burgers
 Pork Roast in the Crockpot with Apple Almond Sauce- one of my all-time favorite recipes.  Oh, this is going to be a good month!
Chicken Divan- my favorite comfort food that my mother used to make.
Vegetable Tuscan Orzo- this cooks up so fast and is really delicious!

New Recipes to Try:
Grilled Chicken Caprese
Roasted Garlic Chickpeas
Grilled Greek Yogurt Chicken

Homemade ice cream
Next Best Thing to Robert Redford

Watch for an upcoming post of our favorite, easy, kid-friendly recipes on this blog!