Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Menu

I think I have this finalized now! Like I said, I am very excited to host so there will be plenty of food for the few of of us eating :) I linked recipes when possible if you are interested, but I haven't tried them all so don't take my word for it - yet! And I'm not making it all - Stephen's mom will be bringing a few things so I don't go crazy in the kitchen! Thanks Karen!

Mohring Thanksgiving 2008
Fruit/Vegetable Tray
Wild Turkey
(thank you D & D!)
(yes, just plain old corn)
Raspberry Gelatin Salad
(adapted from Fruity Orange Gelatin)
Caramel Apple Pie
(Diana's award-winning recipe!)
Vanilla Ice Cream

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baking Day - My Version

I was inspired by several posts on other blogs, especially Money Saving Mom, to experiment with a "Baking Day" of sorts here. The basic idea is to make a bunch of items that you can freeze and use over several weeks. I love this idea! My only problem is that we don't have a large freezer - just the one above our fridge! And right now it is pretty full anyways. So yesterday and today I did a scaled down version of Baking Day.

Yesterday, I made Mindee's Monster Cookies and baked a few for dessert. Today, I rolled the rest of the dough into balls and did some flash freezing (freezing them on a cookie sheet until solid and putting them into a freezer bag).

Last night, I made a large batch of party mix - one of my all-time favorite snacks. My dad's party mix is the absolute best but I had him teach me his ways when I was back home and I am doing my best to duplicate it. Obviously, I don't freeze this :)

Today, I brewed a pot of coffee and froze it in ice cube trays to use for homemade "frappuccinos" and CrockPot Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

I also cooked a large batch of white rice and froze it - I hate making rice so why not make a whole bunch at a time to get it over with?! I divided it into portions and froze it flat in freezer bags. We will use this with salmon and chicken stir fry in the next few weeks.

Last, but not least, I tried a new recipe for Cranberry Pumpkin Scones since I had all the ingredients on hand and it combined some of my favorite fall tastes.

It feels so good to have stuff stored up for those busy days - I just hope it doesn't all attack me when I open the freezer!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chicken Chili

In honor of the cold and wind that has taken over our area, I am posting my mom's Chicken Chili recipe today. Yes, it makes a LOT but it freezes well and is SO yummy. Here is the original recipe with some notes at the end about how I have modified it. This recipe just fits into my 8-qt. stock pot. (The picture is a double batch.)
I don't have any witty remarks or fabulous pictures like PW or Mindee, but I do think this is one darn good chili and totally worth the effort - just ask my husband.
Chicken Chili
8 cups chopped onion (6 onions)
¼ cup good olive oil (plus extra for chicken)
¼ cup minced garlic (8 cloves)
4 red peppers, cored, seeded & large diced
4 yellow peppers, cored, seeded & large diced
2 tsp chili powder
½ tsp dried red pepper flakes
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp pepper (plus more for the chicken)
4 tsp kosher salt (plus more for chicken)
4 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes in puree, undrained
½ cup minced fresh basil leaves
8 split chicken breasts, bone-in & skin-on

Cook onions in oil over medium low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute. Add pepper, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, pepper & salt. Cook one minute. Add crushed tomatoes with puree and basil to the pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat & simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub chicken with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast chicken 35-40 minutes. Separate the meat from bones and skin. Cut into chunks. Add to chili and simmer uncovered 20 more minutes. Serve with optional toppings: chopped onion, corn chips, grated cheddar, sour cream, etc.

Again, this makes a huge recipe but it freezes well.

***I use cayenne pepper instead of red pepper flakes and dried basil rather than fresh basil. The amount of dried basil is much less than ½ cup - follow your instincts. We also cut the amount of onion in half. Make sure you use coarse kosher salt (like you find on pretzels). It comes in a box. I also roast and cut the chicken the night before I make this to make life easier. Enlist someone to help chop the onions and peppers - trust me.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I have three blogs I love to check for recipes right now:

A Year of Crockpotting
The Pioneer Woman
Mindee's Blog

I blame these three sites for my current addiction to cooking and baking.

Today, I had an acorn squash I needed to use and The Pioneer Woman just happened to have the most delicious looking recipe (she has the most amazing pictures).

Even if you don't like squash, you have to try this. It is so bad for you but SO yummy. Put it on your menu for Thanksgiving :) I would copy the recipe here but you really need to experience it on her site - Delicious Baked Acorn Squash.