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September 21, 2013

Amber's Chili {budget friendly}

During the entire 2010 year I seemed to have had an obsession with chili. I'm not sure why, but I was lovin' it! 
This is the recipe I use the most often-it reminds me of Wendy's Fast Food Restaurant Chili...

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 c. tomato juice
1- 15oz. can tomato puree
(I love tomatoes, so I add a 15 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes)
1- (15 oz.) can red beans, drained & rinsed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/4 c. green pepper, diced
3-4 Tbsp. chili powder 
(adjust amount to suit your family's taste)
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. sugar
A pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

In a skillet brown the ground beef, (ground turkey works really well too) until no longer pink then drain off the fat
(I actually rinse the cooked beef to remove as much fat as I can).
Place all the ingredients in a 4 quart crock pot, stir well and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  For faster cooking, you can place all the ingredients in a 4 qt. stock pot, cover, and let simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours, stirring about every 20-30 minutes.
You can double this recipe because it freezes very well, and reheats easily on the stove.

 This is a quick and economical dish, and we love it!

(re-posted from Oct. 2010)

September 1, 2013

Spinach Tomato Spaghetti Al Fresco

I love this dish so much that I've made it 3 times in 2 weeks. My husband and daughter like it too.  Hubby isn't a spaghetti fan, but he sincerely likes this dish, in fact he requested I make it for the 3rd time.

Fresh spinach and basil, thin spaghetti pasta, tomatoes, onions and Parmesan cheese....Mmmmmm.  It doesn't get better than that for me! 

12 oz. thin spaghetti noodles
4 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 medium onion, julienne sliced
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced or chopped
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. dried oregano (leaf or ground)
2 large sprigs fresh Basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 c. torn baby spinach
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces-keep warm (optional)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large stock pot, pour in the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, black pepper, oregano, chopped basil and olive oil.
Break the pasta noodles in half and drop in.
Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring pasta every 3 minutes or so. Cook about 10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente and most of the liquid has been absorbed (I found that I liked the pasta best when there was about 1 inch of water left in the pot when I finished cooking it. The starch from the pasta will thicken the sauce as it cools a bit).
During the last 1-2 minutes of cooking, drop in the fresh spinach and stir, stir, stir to mix it in.  It may seem like that's a LOT of spinach, but remember that it wilts down.
Sprinkle with the warm bacon and Parmesan cheese.

Stinkin' good!

Recipe source:  unknown, I found it on Facebook with no link back...

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