September 16, 2017

Fresh Garden Tomato Chili

I originally posted this recipe back in 2013.  I have been making it every year since.  I have simplified the recipe a little since then.  I originally would peel my tomatoes, but then I discovered the peel really doesn't stand out to me, so I don't do that anymore, which saves a ton of time.  I also have been throwing the tomatoes in my food processor instead of dicing them.  You can do whichever you prefer.

Here is my original post from 10/07/2013:
My mom brought me a big bag of fresh garden tomatoes the other day.  Garden tomatoes have such an amazing flavor.  A flavor unlike any store-bought tomato.

Rather than eating the usual BLT or making salsa with the tomatoes, I wanted to try something different.  I had seen a recipe for Fresh Tomato Chili awhile back and I wanted to create my own version.

I am super happy with how it turned out and the flavor is incredible.  I prefer a thick and chunky chili and so I simmered mine with the lid off and that way the liquid evaporated.  To top it all off, I added a healthy amount of shredded Cheddar, a dollop of sour cream and some chopped green onions . . .  mmm.

I will make this recipe over and over again.  If you can't get any garden tomatoes, you can always use regular store-bought tomatoes.  The flavor will be a little different, but it will still be good.  If you like a little kick to your chili, you can add some chipotle chili powder or a diced canned chipotle chili in adobo.

Serve alongside:
French Bread Rolls
Soft and Chewy French Bread
Cornmeal Buttermilk Biscuits
Chili Cheese Bake Potatoes (use leftovers)

Fresh Garden Tomato Chili
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe) 

1/2 Lb. lean ground beef
1/2 Lb. ground pork or ground turkey
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
*12 large ripe garden tomatoes (see notes down below)
1 Tbl. chili powder, or to taste
2 tsp. ground cumin, or to taste
2 tsp. garlic powder, or to taste
1 tsp. oregano, or to taste
2 bay leaves, opt.
1 Tbl. brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chili beans, undrained

For serving:

sour cream
shredded Cheddar cheese
chopped green onions
Fritos or tortilla chips

Brown ground beef and ground pork or turkey in a large pot over medium heat.  A few minutes before it is completely cooked through, add the chopped bell pepper and onion and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute 30 more seconds.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes.  I like to simmer mine for at least 2 hours for better flavor.  The longer it simmers the more the liquid will evaporate.  If you like more liquid, then simmer with the lid on.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Remove bay leaves before serving. 

Garnish with sour cream, grated Cheddar cheese, chopped green onions and serve with Fritos or crushed tortilla chips.  Serves: 4-6.    

*For the tomatoes:  I like to remove the stem, cut the tomatoes in half and remove half of the seeds.  Then, I throw all of the tomatoes into my food processor and process until there are only a few chunks.  I pour the tomato puree into my chili.  The tomatoes break down when you cook them anyway, so I don't spend the extra time peeling or dicing them.

Or, if you prefer skinned and diced tomatoes, you can remove the peel, stem and seeds and dice, but this will take a lot longer. 

September 12, 2017

Easy Chicken, Bacon and Ranch Sliders

I recently told one of my friends about the amazing Rhodes Warm-N-Serv Rolls and her family has been enjoying them ever since.  The other night she said they made hamburgers for dinner, but didn't have any buns, so they pulled these rolls out of the freezer, baked them and then had hamburger sliders for dinner within 15 minutes.  That got me to thinking of all the yummy sandwiches that could be made using these delicious Warm-N-Serv Rolls.

One of my favorite combos is bacon, ranch, chicken and cheese.  You can't go wrong with that, right! So, I threw all of the ingredients together and made Chicken, Bacon, Ranch Sliders and let me just tell you that these 5-Ingredient sliders are so dang good.  The soft buttery roll paired with the creamy ranch, crisp bacon, melty cheese and tender chicken is guaranteed to be a huge hit.   

Let me show you how easy these are to make . . . 
First, get all of your ingredients ready.  You will need baked Rhodes Warm-N-Serv Rolls, cooked bacon, cooked breaded chicken tenders, sliced cheese and ranch dressing.  
Slice the baked rolls in half, spread ranch over each half of each roll.  Then, top one half of each roll with sliced cheese.  
Top one half of each roll with sliced bacon.  
Cut the breaded chicken tenders in half.  Top one half of each roll with half of a chicken tender.  Place the tops onto each roll.  Place in a warm oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.  Serve.  

#RhodesBread #RhodesRolls #completethemeal

Easy Chicken, Bacon and Ranch Sliders
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

6 Rhodes Warm-N-Serv Dinner Rolls
1/4 c. ranch dressing, plus more for serving
3 large slices Pepper Jack cheese (or your favorite cheese)
3-4 slices bacon, cooked
3 frozen breaded chicken tenders, baked

Bake Rhodes Warm-N-Serv Rolls according to package directions.  When finished baking, slice rolls in half and spread ranch dressing over each half.  Cut or tear the slices of cheese into fourths.  Place two pieces of cheese onto one half of each roll.  Tear the bacon into smaller pieces and divide between one half of each roll.  

Cut the cooked chicken tenders in half and place one half onto each half of each roll.  Place tops onto each roll and place in a warm oven until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.  Serve with additional ranch dressing, if desired.    

This post is sponsored by Rhodes Bread.  I have always been a fan of Rhodes Rolls and all opinions are my own.  Thanks for allowing me to work with the brands that I love. 

September 10, 2017

Cheesy Green Chile Mashed Potatoes

If there is one food that I could never ever give up, it would be potatoes.  I could eat potatoes in some way, shape or form every day.  So many choices . . . potato chips, hash browns, french fries, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, twice-baked potatoes, potato salad, potato soup, potato skins, etc . . .

Another vegetable that I absolutely love are green chiles.  If you want to add some flavor to a dish, just add some kind of green chiles and you have instant flavor.

When you combine potatoes and green chiles magical things happen.  These mashed potatoes are everything you could ask for and more.  Creamy, cheesy and FULL of amazing flavor.  I ate these potatoes as leftovers for three days in a row and they tasted just as good as on day one.

You might also like:

Cheesy Green Chile Mashed Potatoes
slightly adapted from: Hatch Chile Cookbook
(Printable Recipe)

4 Lbs. Russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 Tbl. unsalted butter
3/4 - 1 c. whole milk, warmed
seasoned salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin, or to taste
4 Hatch Chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped,
  or you can used canned diced green chiles
1 1/2 c. grated Sharp Cheddar cheese

Add chopped potatoes to a large pot and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender (if you can mash one of the chunks easily, they are ready).  Drain the potatoes and add to a large bowl.  Add the butter and 1/2 cup of milk.  

Mash the potatoes until they reach desired consistency.  If they aren't creamy enough, add another 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup of milk.  Stir in the seasoned salt, pepper, cumin, chopped green chiles and grated cheese.  Mix well and serve.  

September 3, 2017

S'mores Pumpkin Cookies

I am so happy it's September.  The next few months are my favorite time of the year.  This Summer has felt extra hot to me, so I am ready for the weather to start cooling down.  

Do you save up pumpkin recipes all year long and can't wait to start baking them in the Fall?  I usually have a bunch of recipes saved up and I always have one on the top of my list that is the 1st thing I can't wait to make.  This year, I didn't have a list, but when I first saw someone post about Hershey's new S'mores Baking Pieces, I immediately knew I wanted to add them to my go-to pumpkin cookie recipe.        
Since this is a newer product, you might not be able to find it at all grocery stores.  I was able to find mine at my local Walmart and they had a bunch.  Inside the package you get mini graham cracker squares, marshmallows and chocolate chips.  The marshmallows are tiny and crunchy, but when you bake them they soften and puff up just like a regular marshmallow.   

These cookies turned out so good.  The pumpkin cookie is thick and soft and when mixed with the creamy chocolate chips, toasted marshmallows and crunchy graham pieces it's the perfect cookie to welcome in September.  
You might also like:

S'mores Pumpkin Cookies
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner

1 c. canned pumpkin puree
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 large egg
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 Tbl. vanilla
1 (7 oz.) pkg. Hershey's S'mores Baking Pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, sugar, oil and the egg and mix until well blended.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; add to wet mixture.  Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and add to the wet ingredients along with the vanilla.  Mix all together until just combined.  Stir in just over half of the baking pieces and save the rest for pressing on top of cookies before baking. 

Using a 1 1/2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, drop dough onto a large cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Press a few more baking pieces onto the top of each cookie.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Makes around 2 1/2 dozen cookies. 

Jenn's Notes: This cookie dough can be refrigerated overnight and baked the following day.  However,  the graham pieces and marshmallows will dissolve into the batter, so if you aren't going to bake the cookies until the following day, wait to stir in the s'mores baking pieces until you are ready to bake.  


August 29, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Cake with Pumpkin Icing

I know I say this a lot, but this Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Roll Cake is seriously one of my favorites.  It's Fall comfort food at it's finest.  Seriously, this is DIVINE.

I usually wait until September to start posting pumpkin recipes, but we are close enough, right?  I couldn't wait any longer to share this with you.  

This Cinnamon Roll Cake is ooey, gooey, soft and chewy.  Pretty much everything you could ask for in a cinnamon roll, but instead of individual rolls, you get one giant cinnamon roll cake.  With each bite you get a hint of clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin.  It tastes incredible on day one and it's even delicious on day two.  On day two, just pop a slice in the microwave for 15 seconds and you are good to go.  Add this to your must make list immediately.   

Let me show you how easy this is to make . . .
First, get all of your ingredients ready.  You will need thawed Rhodes Dinner Rolls, butter, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, cream cheese, pumpkin puree, vanilla, salt and powdered sugar.  
Combine all thawed dinner rolls into one large ball and place on a lightly floured surface.  
Roll out dough ball into roughly a 17''x11'' rectangle.  It doesn't have to be exact, similar measurements will work.  Brush softened butter over dough and then sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and brown sugar mixture.  Cut dough into roughly 6 (1 3/4-inch) strips, cutting lengthwise.    
Roll up the first strip of dough into a cinnamon roll and place in the center of a large skillet or pie plate that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  
Take the next strip and wrap around the roll, pinching the ends together to seal.  It will get a little messy, but it's okay.  
Continue wrapping the remaining strips around the roll until no strips remain.  You can leave the excess brown sugar crumbles in the pan, because it will stick to the cake as it rises.  Or, you can scoop up the excess and sprinkle on top of the cake.  
Spray plastic wrap with cooking spray and loosely cover the cake.  Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  This takes around 60-90 minutes.  When doubled in size, remove plastic wrap and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown.   
Meanwhile, prepare the pumpkin icing.  Remove baked cinnamon roll cake from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Then, spread the glorious pumpkin icing over the entire surface of the cake.  Slice and serve or allow to cool then serve.  

I am sharing this DIVINE RECIPE over at the Rhodes Blog today.  Click HERE to get this amazing RECIPE.

This post is sponsored by Rhodes Bread. I have always been a fan of Rhodes Rolls and all opinions are my own.  Thanks for allowing me to work with the brands that I love and use in my own kitchen. 

August 20, 2017

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies

I first had these cookies a few years ago when my cousin's husband brought them into work.  It was the first time I had ever tasted an applesauce cookie and I was immediately a fan.  

They are so light and soft and delicious.  They are a thick, cake-like, cookie full of flavor and rich chocolate chips.  The texture reminds me of a thick pumpkin cookie.  

Since this recipe makes a big batch, I decided to share.  I walked over to the neighbors with a plate full of warm cookies and everyone came over to reach for a cookie, then when I said they are applesauce cookies, they immediately pulled their hands back.  I said come on just try them if you don't like them, you can throw it away.  Then, everyone took a bite and then reached for a 2nd cookie.  They loved them.
You might also like:

Applesauce Chocolate Chip Cookies
From: Dave A. 
(Printable Recipe)

1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. applesauce
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (12 oz.) bag chocolate chips (I like semi-sweet)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugar; add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Mix in the applesauce and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder.  Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.  

Stir in the chocolate chips (I like to add half now and then save the other half to press on top of the dough balls before baking).   Drop about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of cookie dough, per cookie, onto a greased baking sheet or use a cookie scoop.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Cool cookies on wire rack.  Makes around 30-36 cookies.