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

The Case of Brownies

A chocolate valentine for my husband...who am I kidding? Believe it or not, Karl doesn't even like chocolate. I know. And perhaps you're thinking I'm contradicting my post of January 17th, in which I said, "In fact, I don't bake anymore, for fear of having too much temptation in the house." Well...let me just say this about that – you got me! Happy Valentine's Day.  


1 cup butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cocoa
2-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
icing sugar

Grease and flour a 9" X 13" baking pan. Preheat oven to 350º F. In a large pot, on low heat, and watching carefully, melt together the butter and chocolate. Remove from heat, and stir in the cocoa and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Fold in the flour and salt. Fill the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 40 min. Cool, run a knife around the edges, flip over on a cutting board, turn out, and while the Brownies are upside-down, cut into 16 servings. Turn each brownie upside-right, and sift icing sugar on top.

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.