Saturday, October 30, 2010

Smoky Beef-and-Bacon Chili ~ by Sarah

This recipe originally came from Sunset Magazine, but was given to me by my co-worker, MaryRuth.  It is so delicious and will definitely be replacing our regular chili recipe!  It is a bit spicy, so you might want to back down on the cayenne pepper and chili powder if you're wimpy like me.

4 slices thick-cut bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2-2 lbs. ground beef (she said this is also really good with elk burger)
1 T plus 1 1/2 t. chili powder
1 1/2 t. ground cumin
1 1/2 t. smoked paprika (You might have trouble finding this in the grocery store--I had to borrow some from MaryRuth!)
1/2 t. to 1 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. salt
1 can (14.5-oz.) crushed or diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can (8 ox.) tomato sauce
1 c. Indian Pale Ale (IPR) or pilsner
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
sour cream, green onions, and/or grated cheddar cheese for topping

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, stirring until it just begins to brown, about 4-7 minutes.  Stir in garlic and onion and cook for about 1 minute.  Add ground beef and break up.  Cook 6-8 minutes; until it loses its raw color.  Stir in spices and cook 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beer, and Worcestershire and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover partially, and cook 30 minutes.  Add beans and cook 10 more minutes, uncovered.  Season to taste with additional salt.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Milky Way Cake ~ by Sarah

My co-worker, MaryRuth, has brought this cake to school a few times and I am always eager to enjoy it!  It takes 11, yes 11, Milky Way bars to make it!  It is delicious!

8 Milky Way bars (full size)
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/3 cups flour
1 1/4 cups buttermilk

3 Milky Way bars
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar

Melt over medium heat 1 cube butter and 8 Milky Way bars.  With mixer cream 1 cube of butter and sugar.  Add eggs.  Combine soda and flour, then add to sugar mixture.  Mix in buttermilk.  Add melted candy bars.  Bake in greased and floured bundt cake pan for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Melt Milky Way bars and butter over medium heat.  Add milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar.  Pour over warm cake.

Please excuse the crummy cell phone picture.  Trust me--it's pretty and delicious!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins~by Kelsey

This one comes from  I am a huge fan of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 oil
2 eggs
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease the muffin pan, or use paper liners.  Mix sugar, oil, eggs.  Add pumpkin and water.  In separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and powder, spices, and salt.  Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir in the chocolate chips.  Fill the cups 2/3 full and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Pizza Dough~by Kelsey

I found this recipe in my recipe box.  It's written in Grandma Jessie's handwriting, but I don't know why, since I don't remember her ever making home made pizza.  I know it has been in there at least, like, 12 years, and I have never tried it, so I gave it a shot.  It was really good!  The kids had fun putting the toppings on.

1 cup warm water
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups flour

Mix together the water, yeast, sugar, and salt.  Add the oil and 1 1/2 cups of flour and beat with a mixer.  Add another 1 1/2 cups of flour and knead.  Let it rise 1 hour.  Punch it down, roll it out, and top as you please.  Cook it at 375 degrees.  I think I checked on it after 10 minutes and had to let it go another 10 minutes after that, but I am not sure, so keep an eye on it.

Chex Muddy Buddies~by Kelsey

I absolutely LOVE these!  You can't beat chocolate and peanut butter!  I didn't get a picture of them, so I guess I will have to make another batch soon so I can get a picture!  They are fast, easy, and only dirty one bowl.

9 cups Chex cereal (I buy generic rice and corn Chex-like cereals)
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

In a large microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter.  Cook 30 seconds, stir, cook 30 seconds, stir.  Repeat this process until the mixture is smooth.  Add vanilla.  Add the cereal to the bowl, and stir very carefully until all the cereal is coated.  Now, you can either add the powdered sugar to the bowl and stir, OR you can put the cereal in a ziplock bag, add the powdered sugar, and shake.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge.  They are awesome.  Trust me.