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A Crock Pot Chili That You Can Easily Make at Home !

Posted on 05 January 2011 by admin

Do you have a crock pot in a closet or kitchen cabinet someplace in your house? Are you a throwback to the 70’s? I am! But what the hey! When was the last time that you used it to actually cook something? The crock pot is not some old “fad” that has come and gone you know! The crock pot is alive and well today! Just take a look at how it has evolved over the years when you go to the big retail outlets in your town. I remember when they were strictly “manually” operated. A manual knob for warm, medium and high. Today, they are all glitzed up with fancy electronic controls and readouts. Today, they are like the crock pots that you would expect on the starship Enterprise! The crock pot is not a lazy way of cooking, on the contrary it is so efficient as to be able to prep the ingredients you want then put them in the crock in the morning and when you get home, viola! dinner is served. It is an economical way of cooking. If you are a chili lover as I am then you know that the crock pot is a great way to make your best chili recipes quickly and easily! So let’s make some chili shall we!

The ingredients:

3 pounds of steak. You can use round, flank, skirt, chuck if on a budget. Any cut you want. I like to cube and shred the meat for texture purposes.

1 15oz can of beans. Any will do, kidney, small red beans, pinto beans. No white beans for this recipe though!1 large onion finely chopped either a brown or red onion the choice is yours.

1 large green bell pepper finely chopped.
4 bulbs of garlic finely chopped.
1 small can 6-8 oz tomato sauce.
1 small can 6-8 oz tomato paste.
1 6-7 oz can of diced green chilies.
1 big can 28oz of fire roasted tomatoes plain or with green chilies mixed in or 6 to 8 large tomatoes that you have roasted on the BBQ.

1 tablespoon of California chili powder.
1 tablespoon of New Mexico chili powder.
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.
1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.
3 tablespoons of olive oil.
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt or season salt.

OK, Let’s get cooking!

I love large skillets! my fave is a cast iron skillet. I am old fashioned that way! So, get a large skillet and put your beef in it to brown it up  in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the beef is all browned it is time to toss it into the crock pot and then toss the rest of your ingredients in there as well! Cook this mixture for 6 to eight hours, and if you are home at the time then taste it every now and again to see if you want to add something to it or not! As an aside as always I suggest cooking this mixture or any chili recipe a day in advance as the flavors get to mingle together, but if that is not possible that is OK too! This meal is ready to eat and enjoy!

In this article we have looked at one of the best chili recipes you can make, simple crock pot chili recipes that are easy, creative and fun to make as well as being healthy and quite satisfying!

If you enjoyed this article and enjoy making chili and would like to learn more of the best chili recipes then please visit: http://bestchilirecipes.net today!
Article from articlesbase.com

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Summer Activities for Kids of Work at Home Parents

Posted on 04 January 2011 by admin

Isn’t summer fun? Sunshine, warmer weather, time with family and friends; not to mention holidays, fireworks and picnics! Kids live their greatest adventures, and parents have the opportunity to vicariously relive their childhood dreams. For work at home parents, however, summer represents a whole new set of challenges. Running a business from home can be tough enough without having to worry about keeping the kids entertained. Here are some ideas of summer activities for kids of work at home parents meant to help all of you have the best summer ever.

Let’s Get Cooking!

When kids are home all day, they have a tendency to gravitate towards the kitchen anyway. So, why not take advantage of that. Plan different kid-friendly recipes like chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, rice cereal treats or pizza. Get everything set up at their level, or get a couple of stepping stools for the little ones. Then, get cooking! Kids love the “experiment-like” nature of cooking, plus getting a bit messy is always fun! An added bonus is that older kids will be able to duplicate the process, which can be a great help when you’re a bit behind on work!

Go Green!

Recycle, reduce, reuse! Practice all three this summer. Schedule a trip to your local recycling plant. I know that sounds strange, but kids are so naturally curious they will love seeing this process. If you plan ahead, you can contact the recycling plant and schedule a structured tour of the facilities. Take full advantage of your efforts by partnering with other work at home parents who might want to join the adventure with their kids. The larger the number of people in the group, the better chance you have of securing a scheduled tour.

After your trip to the recycling plant, why not teach your kids how to reuse some “trash.” Set up a tiny lab and make some recycled paper. It’s a lot easier to do than you might think, and you can find complete instructions here: http://www.funsci.com/fun3_en/paper/paper.htm.

Another neat reusing project is making grocery totes out of old t-shirts. All you do is turn the shirt inside out. Then, cut off the sleeves, and make a straight cut across the chest area of the shirt. Sew or use sewing tape to seal the cut edge. Open the sleeve so they are a rectangular piece of fabric and sew it together long ways. Turn these inside out to make a straw-like piece that will become the handles. Saw each handle to either side of your tote and turn right side out. Now, your kids can go crazy decorating the totes.

Take It Outside!

Why not plant a garden? Take the bikes out to the local trail. It’s always fun to go for a swim or to the park. You can also plan a family road trip. Take full advantage of the nice summer weather. If you have a beach nearby, an early trip during the week will help you avoid the crowds. Explore your town. Take the kids to historical or well-known places in your area. If you are creative and have a little extra time, you can plan a scavenger or treasure hunt. My all-time favorite outdoor activity, though, is having a cookout. Fire up that grill, invite a couple of neighbors, and you have an instant summer party!

Some Sanity Savers

Ok, now that you have a few ideas of summer activities for kids it’s time to tackle the “working parents” part. Yes, it’s fun and exciting to be home with the kids, but it can also be nerve wracking when you have a to-do list that’s a mile long and can’t get any work done. So here are some tips to help you on that department as well.

 

Make a schedule – be flexible, but if you schedule your day you will invariably get more done!
Create a network – having a support group of other work at home parents is always helpful. If they are relatively close by, you could even make arrangements to “exchange” kids during the week. One day your kids go to their house, the next day their kids come to yours. You get the idea!
Enlist Friends and Family – there’s no shame in asking for help. Most of the time relatives who have planned trips or outings would love to take your kids along, provided you ship in for the costs! Grandparents are also a great tool. They are always happy to have some time to pamper the grandkids!
Lose the Super Hero Complex – you are not now, nor will you ever be, superhuman, so don’t try to be. Recognize your limitations and don’t overdo it. Delegate, prioritize, and don’t be afraid to let some things go! If it is not absolutely essential, it can wait until tomorrow, or maybe even until fall!

There you have it. Take some time to plan and prioritize your summer activities. Incorporate some of the summer activities for kids listed above into your weekly schedule. Have fun and never forget that your kids are more than likely the reason you started working from home in the first place. Enjoy each other and the rest will fall into place.

Marcy Amaro is a wife, mother of two, and a former English teacher, turned internet entrepreneur. She has gone from a schoolroom to working with six-figure income earners and millionaires, all from the comfort of her home. Her Passion is helping others who have a burning desire for success achieve their dreams. You too can succeed. Find out how.

Article from articlesbase.com

Sonya McDaniel cooking demonstration of kid friendly recipes from March 2008. For more recipes visit www.news-starextra.com/food
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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How To Steps To Prepare Taco Soup Recipe At Home

Posted on 04 January 2011 by admin

When you speak about comfort foods, you must include taco soup. It is great for cheering spirits and perfect when it is snowing outside. It makes up for a perfect warm bowl of soup when you are indoors on holidays. This soup is a meal on its own. It is fun to make and great to have. What is keeping you from trying this simple taco soup recipe? This is really a simple recipe made with easily available ingredients. Your family will keep asking for more.

 

This recipe is a tried and tested one. You can simply follow it to get some delicious taco soup for your family. You could make this in a dutch oven, a slow cooker or even a stock pot. It is best if you make it in a dutch oven, as there is equal heat distribution in it. Cooking is slow and the soup turns out fine. Just try it out and you will treasure this recipe.

 

If you have fussy kids at home who do not eat healthy food, you must try this out for them. This soup is healthy and delicious. Your kids will ask for more, and it will make you happy seeing them eat such healthy meal. The best part about this is that, this soup is as easy to make, as it is delicious to taste it.

 

You must first get all the ingredients needed to make this soup. These ingredients are easily available and it will not be difficult for you to get them. You will need the following.

 

Red Beans (drained) – one can

 

Ground beef – 1-1 ½ lbs

 

Black beans (drained) – one can

 

Onion (chopped) – 1 small

 

Whole corn kernels (drained) – one can

 

Taco seasoning mix – 1 packet

 

Tomato Sauce – one can

 

Crushed tomatoes – one can

 

Diced Tomatoes – one can

 

Cheddar Cheese

 

Tortilla Chips

 

Chopped green onion

 

Sour cream

 

To cook this delicious hearty taco soup recipe you have to follow these steps.

 

1) In a stew pot or Dutch oven, you have to first cook the beef. Cook the beef with onion, salt and pepper. The beef has to brown all over. In case you need a hotter soup, you can even add cayenne pepper.

 

2) Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, taco seasoning, corn, beans and tomato sauce. Mix it very well.

 

3) Cook for about 2 hours on low heat. If you are cooking in a slow cooker, it will need 4-6 hours.

 

4) Once done, serve with chopped green onions, sour cream, tortilla chips and cheddar cheese.

 

5. You could even use shredded chicken breasts instead of beef if you wish.

 

If you serve this soup to visitors, they will beg you for this taco soup recipe. This soup stimulates taste buds and is delicious. Anyone having it will really enjoy this lovely, warm soup. Therefore, whether you are making the soup for your guests or for your family, many compliments are sure to come. Since it easy and cheap to make this soap, you can try the recipe as many times as possible.

G. Smitty is a writer who loves to discuss many topics ranging from taco dip recipe to professional basketball. Thanks for reading!

Article from articlesbase.com

One of America’s favorite comfort foods, potato soup is served everywhere from steakhouses to country diners. Hi, I’m chef Jason Hill of Chef Tips and today we’re making a creamy potato soup recipe that’s dressed up with smoked gouda cheese. If you can’t find smoked gouda, a steakhouse secret to that creamy texture is a processed cheese such as Velveeta. Creamy Potato Cheese Soup 1 tablespoon dried basil 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter 2 cups shredded smoked Gouda cheese 6 small red potatoes, diced and reserved in cold water to prevent browning 2 diced carrots 2 diced celery stalks 1 white onion, diced 1 teaspoon garlic-shallot puree (or 2 cloves garlic, crushed) 2 cups heavy cream 6 cups chicken broth Turn stock pot on medium high. Melt butter. Add celery, onion, carrots. Cook down until onions are transluscent. Add basil and garlic-shallot puree. After 3 minutes, add potatoes and stir another 3 minutes. Carefully pour in 6 cups chicken broth. Boil for 20 minutes, then stir in a roux made from 4 tablespoons flour and 4 tablespoons butter. Wait a few minutes for the soup to thicken slightly. Add cream. Whisk and simmer for 20 minutes. Slowly stir in cheese and melt it down. After cheese is melted, pour into bowls and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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Vegetarian Chili Recipes – 5 Tips to Making Great Vegetarian Chili At Home!

Posted on 04 January 2011 by admin

Well, we all know that vegetarian chili has no meat in it! That is a give in. The old saying of “fat is where the flavor is” well, that does hold true does it not? So what do we do when we want to add flavor to vegetarian chili recipes? We add chilies for a bit of heat and some flavor, remember that there are many chili pepper varieties out there and being familiar with as many as you can and the properties of each will only aid in your chili cooking endeavors.. There are of course other things that can be added and we will cover them. In this article we will look at 5 simple tips to making great vegetarian chili recipes.

Tip 1. Know thy chili peppers! Getting to know the chili peppers that you will use will help you in figuring out just how much heat you can take in your chili dish. So the trick is to know which types of chili peppers are the hottest. We all know that a bell pepper is not going to impart heat at all in our recipes, but we do know that a jalapeno or habanero are some of the hottest chili peppers around. They make pepper spray for the police out of habanero chili, so you can imagine how hot it is! So if using this type of chili in your dish use it sparingly and work your way up to the heat level that you are satisfied with. In most cases, most people use the good old standby of the Jalapeno chili pepper and that is fine. They have a mild/medium heat and most people can handle that. It is my opinion that you should learn and experiment with other types of chilies in your various recipes.

Tip 2. When you are cooking your vegetarian chili recipes, it is a good idea to start adding your chilies toward the end of the dish around the last two hours of cooking. This lets the other flavors blend and then you add the chilies and you add another layer of texture as well as flavor. Add slowly and taste often with your spoon until the desired hear level is reached. The best part about chilies is that they are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants that are good for your immune system. Chilies are also thermogenic and help in losing fat if you use them in your diet.

Tip 3. Chilies are rated by Scoville heat units. This means that some chili peppers can actually burn the skin, eyes or nasal passages. Do not handle chili peppers with your bare hands! If you have cooking gloves, use them! If you do not have cooking gloves, get some! If that it is not possible at the moment, then coat your hands in olive oil to add a layer of protection from the chili pepper juices. Of course if you do not want to chop your chili peppers then you can grind them in any number of ways and with any number of kitchen gadgets.

Tip 4. How much heat from chili do you think you can handle? If not much there are a couple of things that you can do. The first thing is to get the seeds out of the chilies you will use. Another tip is to cut out or remove the “ribs” inside the chili peppers. There is much debate as to what is the hotter part of the chili pepper, the ribs or the seeds? I personally do not care because in my humble opinion they are both real hot! Taking these steps will reduce the heat of many chilies to something a bit more mild in heat for your vegetarian chili recipes.

Tip 5. You know the old saying “Man, and Woman cannot live by bread alone.” Well, Man, and Woman cannot live by chili alone, either! Chili is a synergistic food. They taste fine by themselves, but only enhance the tastes of other elements in a recipes and the other elements of the recipe enhance the flavor of the chili. Chili peppers that are added to things like onions, garlic, various beans, hard tofu or tofu products, and fire roasted tomatoes can really make your vegetarian chili recipes fly! You do not add all these ingredients together at the same time. In fine dining it is called building layers of flavor. So you need to start by mixing and sautee’ of the items that are not hot and slowly adding in your chili peppers keep in mind always a little touch of salt and a little touch of either black or white pepper.

In this article we looked at 5 simple tips for making great vegetarian chili recipes that you can make at home tonight. I hope you enjoyed reading it. If you would like to learn more about some of the best chili recipes then please visit: http://bestchilirecipes.net/ today!

Article from articlesbase.com

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Best Chili Recipes-5 More Simple Tips To Making Great Chili At Home!

Posted on 04 January 2011 by admin

In this article we will explore 5 more simple tips to making great chili at home! These are all very basic and yet at times overlooked. The little extra attention to detail will greatly enhance the experience of the meal and your family and guests will love your for it! So here we go!

Tip 1. It is always better to use fresh veggies over frozen. Fresh anything in the kitchen is a universal law! Try to stay away from veggies that are starting to brown in the refrigerator. I know it is easier to take a shortcut and use frozen veggies, but if you take the time and use fresh ingredients you will be much happier with the results! Hey!, if you live in a part of the country where you are near a farmers market then you have it made in the shade! If you can get fresh chilies in many varieties then get them and you will make a wonderful impression! Remember! Quality over quantity! Make an impression to your guests and they will love you for it!

Tip 2. It is my humble suggestion that if you can cook your chili a day in advance to allow the flavors to “marry” then do it! You will see that the flavors that you get will greatly satisfy you and your guests. Of course if you do not have the luxury to do it this way and you are rushed for time then you can start your chili early in the morning and let it simmer for the major part of the day checking it from time to time with the cooks secret weapon, the spoon! This will allow you to add more of this or that to get your chili just right so that when your guests arrive they will have a satisfying meal. That is what it is all about folks, making people happy with your creations!

Tip 3. Quality over quantity I go back to it again and again. Use your own spices and herbs and do not settle for those prepackaged envelopes of chili mix as they usually have lots of sodium and sodium is something that you want to have control over as you are the chef! Hey!, check this out: Get some zip lock bags and make  yourself a bunch of premade spice bags for your chili cooking or any other type of recipe and store them in the freezer. They will stay for a very long time and save you time in the long run. Keeping your herbs and spices in the freezer for a year is better than letting them dry out and lose the flavorful oils in them to the dryness of a kitchen cabinet in the course of a year!

Tip 4. When it comes to using herbs and spices do not use “old” inventory. If you have had spices exposed to the air because of improper storing or packaging then get rid of those and go buy some new stuff. This will greatly enhance the flavor of your chili as those precious flavorful oils of the new herbs and spices will change the whole presentation of this or any dish! This applies if your are using dried herbs and spices. Of course if you can get your hands on the fresh stuff then  your chili recipe is sure to be a big flavorful success! I promise! Fresh is best! Take the extra effort to find fresh herbs and spices and you will have the best chili that you have ever had in your life!

Tip 5. The best part of the cooking experience whether you are making chili or anything else for that matter is to have fun! Turn up the stereo and rock out while you are working. The kitchen is not a funeral home and it definetly should not be considered a drudgery, it is made for being creative and having fun. Get the kids involved with you and teach them some kitchen basics! Heck! Get the hubby in there too and teach him a few kitchen tricks so that oneday you can say to him, “hey honey! why dont you make some chili for the weekend?” Get some friends over for a chili making party! Let everyone make a suggestion and then when the meal is done it is pig out time! Cooking with friends and family is a great social medium. Cooking has the power to bring people together and share. I am a firm believer in this!

This article looked at 5 more simple yet very effective tips to making some of the best chili recipes you have ever made! If you enjoyed this information and recipe and would like to learn more of the the best chili recipes around then please visit: http://bestchilirecipes.net/ today!

Article from articlesbase.com

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Best Chili Recipes-5 Simple Tips To Making Great Chili At Home!

Posted on 04 January 2011 by admin

Chili is a metaphysical thing in the world of cooking.  There are major competitions all over the United States, and believe me they can get really cutthroat. People take their chili seriously! Chili is a creation that is highly personal to the person that has created the dish. Lot’s of folks can work a lifetime to perfect a chili recipe and that is no joke. Just ask anyone that has ever competed in a chili cook off. If you are a newbie to the world of chili and want to get out of “the canned stuff,” then welcome! Even if  you are an old hat at making chili, welcome! The tips herein will do no harm and only enhance your chili experience! Lets get some tips!

Tip 1. What if your chili is too thick? What kind of chili is it? White?, Red? Beef? Chicken? If your chili is too thick don’t use water to thin it out that is what everyone in the world does. Use broth instead! Water will “kill” the hard worked for flavor of your chili creation. Broth adds the liquid that you need and unlike water it also adds flavor and depth to your chili recipe!

Tip 2. What if your chili is way to thin? You could add some tomato paste to it as one way to thicken it. Try it a little bit by little bit until  you achieve the consistency that you are looking for! What if the tomato paste does not make your chili thick the way you want it to? Then the next step is to try to use something like cornstarch or corn flour commonly called masa flour! You can also try the old school use of cornmeal. I like this one myself. Cornmeal gives a good texture. Some people I know in the Southern United States say to just use good old fashioned instant mashed potatoes. Not bad! It works and adds texture as well. Then the is the no calorie way to do it by using arrow root mixed with a bit of water and then added to the chili and stirred. As you can see there are many way to  make your chili thicker. The choice is yours and you should experiment.

Tip 3. Most people that I know of that make chili at home just use plain old boring everyday Jalapeno’s. This is fine in most cases and they do bring the “heat!” But the fact of the matter is that there is a world of different chilies out there. Anaheim, Poblano, Serrano, Sante Fe Chilies, Ancho Chilies, The very popular these days Chipotle in Adobo sauce or Chipotle powder, Cayenne, Tabascos, Thai Chili, Habanera, and Scotch Bonnets! The list can go on and on from country to country. So why not try to use more than one type of chili pepper in your chili? Change the flavor, dont settle for the mundane! Have fun!

Tip 4. first thing is first! Cook the meat! Any meat that you are using should be cooked first. Brown the meat way before you have to add the liquids to the recipe. Browning the meat aids in locking in the flavor of the meat. You dont want your meat to get soggy with the liquids from the chili recipe. I prefer to sear cook my meat. That is turn the flame up high and putting the meat in the pan of my fave the cast iron skillet and so it sizzles quick and stir it around a bit and then turn the heat down. This is a classic searing technique that locks the flavor into the meat.

Tip 5. The better the meat the better the meal! It is a fact that the better the quality of any meat or main component for a meal the better the meal. Remember that is it quality over quantity! Just because you can get some meats cheap and get lot’s of it does not mean that it is quality meat and that you will get a quality meal. If you have to use a cheaper meat that is less tender then expect to cook your chili longer to soften it up and consider using a meat tenderizer on it to aid in the softening of the cheaper cuts and cooke the chili longer and you should be OK. In the long run if you can afford to get the better cuts then I always day do it!

In this article we looked at 5 simple tips to making great chili at home. The best chili recipes are the one’ we create at home and our families and friends enjoy them! If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more of the best chili recipes and how to make them, then please visit: http://bestchilirecipes.net today!

Article from articlesbase.com

In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make a great warm-up for wintry days, her Quick Chili. This is chili with browned ground beef, canned beans, tomatoes, and green chilies, flavored with convenience packages, so that there is no chopping—and the chili cooks in 15 minutes with almost no clean-up! Ingredients: 1 pound lean ground beef (2) 15-oz. cans kidney beans, undrained 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained 10-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained 1 ¾-oz. envelope chili seasoning mix (You may use your own blend of chili powder, cumin, and cilantro.) 1 ½ cups water 1 tablespoon instant onion soup and dip mix (You may use chopped onion and a little minced garlic.) Shredded sharp cheddar cheese for topping In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven, brown 1 pound lean ground beef, until it is crumbly and cooked through. Drain, if needed. Add (2) 15-oz. cans undrained kidney beans, a 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, a 10-oz. can diced tomatoes and green chiles, a 1 ¾-oz. envelope chili seasoning mix, 1 ½ cups water, and 1 tablespoon instant onion soup and dip mix. Stir mixture thoroughly. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve by ladling a generous amount of chili into a bowl or mug, and top with about ¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese per serving. Provide saltine crackers to accompany this delicious chili. If you want a quick and easy great-tasting chili that is economical
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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