Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Case of Chilli

Like the vegetarian 60's flower-child wanna-be that I am, I'm thinking Chilli.


1 cup water
3 rounded tsps (for 3 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
14-oz-can kidney beans, rinsed
14-oz-can black beans, rinsed
14-oz-can tomato sauce
14-oz-can diced tomatoes
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 chillis, seeded and minced (don't touch your eyes, and wash your hands well afterwards)
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 rounded tsp cocoa
1 pack Yves Original Veggie Ground Round
4 tortillas
olive oil

Simmer all the ingredients except for the veggie ground round, salt, tortillas and olive oil in a covered pot for 50 min. Add the veggie ground round, and salt the Chilli to taste. Continue to simmer until the Chilli is serving temperature. Lightly brush the tortillas with olive oil, slice with a pizza cutter into wedges, and brown under the broiler. Flip the wedges and repeat. Accompany the Chilli with the homemade tortilla chips. Serves 4.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

#27 The Case of Brownies

1 cup butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate
2-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Melt together the butter and chocolate in a large oven-safe pot in the preheating oven. Stir occasionally and remember to use oven mitts when handling the pot.

Line a 9" X 13" baking pan with parchment paper. To hold the paper in place, attach the sides with binder clips. Brush the paper with a little melted butter (from the butter you're melting above if you get to it before stirring with the chocolate).

Remove the melted butter and chocolate from oven and stir in the sugar and cocoa.

Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

Fold in the flour and salt.

Fill the prepared baking pan. Smooth the top of the batter and bake for 40 min. Do not check with a toothpick because the typical method of checking the "doneness" of cake will not work here.


Flip the baking pan over on a cutting board, turn out the dessert, peel off the parchment paper and, while the dessert is upside-down, cut into 16 Brownies. Turn each Brownie upside-right and sift icing sugar on top.

Store the Brownies covered in the fridge.

Makes 16 large and completely irresistible Brownies.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Case of Piña Colada Smoothie

For years I kept trying to make virgin pina coladas like the ones I had in the Dominican Republic, with pineapple juice and coconut milk, and they kept disappointing and I couldn't figure out why. Then just the other day while in the grocery store, I picked up a point-of-sale marketing promotion for Thai Kitchen products. Inside the little brochure were coupons, and a recipe for non-alcoholic pina coladas. It called for the usual ingredients, plus 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp orange juice and 1/2 tbsp lime juice per drink, a little sugar, some vanilla, even some almond extract. Ah-ha! That's how to get that subtlety I remembered from my glorious trip to Puerto Plata.

Now I don't know about yours, but though my blender claims to, it doesn't handle ice. I decided to make a Piña Colada Smoothie, using vanilla frozen yogurt to chill things out instead of ice. The frozen yogurt would also cover the vanilla and sugar. I decided to leave out the almond extract altogether, but certainly didn't neglect to add the trio of citrus juices, and the result was exactly as I hoped. 

Piña Colada Smoothie

1/3 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple, chopped
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 large scoop vanilla frozen yogurt

Blend together the light coconut milk, pineapple, lemon juice, orange juice and lime juice. Add the vanilla frozen yogurt and blend again. Serves 1.