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Hello everyone, I'm Cindi, aka "domestic goddess", and I consider myself to be a country girl at heart. I'm also a mother to 3 daughters, and I have 1 granddaughter. Being a counrty gal, I enjoy preparing down-home country meals for my family. I also enjoy sharing recipes with others, collecting cookbooks, reading about the paranormal, and spending time with my family.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Chocolate Chili

I make this chili with Hershey's Milk Chocolate "Snack-Size" Candy Bars, but sometimes I will use 10 Hershey Milk Chocolate Kisses in place of the snack size chocolate bars. I love how this chili smells while it's simmering. You can actually smell the chocolate.

Chocolate Chili

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon  chili powder
2 teaspoons  chili powder
3 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
4  Hershey's milk chocolate "snack-size" candy bars
1 (16 oz.) can bush's kidney beans, drained and rinsed

In a 3-quart saucepan, spray the bottom of pan with a no-stick olive oil cooking spray.
Add the ground beef, onion, and garlic, and cook until the beef is brown, and onion is soft.
Drain the meat, to remove any excess grease, then add the meat back to the pan.
Add all of the chili powder to the pan, along with the tomato sauce, and the snack-size chocolate candy bars. Cook over a low simmer for 5 minutes; stirring frequently.
Add the kidney beans, and stir frequently while simmering for 5 minutes, or until the chili is heated through.
Ladle the chili into bowls, and serve immediately.
Yields: 4 servings

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Manwich Chili

Enjoyed this chili made with a can of Hunts Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce.
It's meaty, yet hearty, but not too spicy.

Manwich Chili

1 lb. (90 %) lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
1 large clove garlic, minced
2-1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 (15 oz.) can Hunts Manwich Original Sloppy Joe Sauce
2 (8 oz.) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 oz.) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can light red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed & drained
Garnish: with shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Garnish: with sour cream

Spray the inside of a Dutch oven with an olive oil cooking spray.

Cook the beef and onion in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat; till the beef is no longer pink, and the onion is tender. (I found it only took 5 minutes to cook the onion and brown the meat.) Stir and crumble the meat with a fork while cooking.
Lower the heat, and add the minced garlic, stir and cook for just 30 seconds.

Stir in the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder, then add the Manwich and tomato sauce, and stir.

Cover the Dutch oven; cook and heat the meat and sauce over the lowest simmer you can get for 20 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Add the kidney beans, stir, then cover, and cook/simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
Ladle the chili into bowls, and garnish each bowl with a bit of the shredded cheese and sour cream.
Yields: 8 servings

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

I never thought one could make a descent peanut butter cookie without flour, but you actually can, and they taste pretty darn good! These little gems are packed with lots of flavor, plus they aren't overly sweet, and they do freeze well. Whenever I make these petite cookies, I like to make them with a mixture of creamy and super chunky peanut butter, plus I like to bake these cookies on Pampered Chef Baking Stones.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy)
1 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Skippy Super Chunk)
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed, optional (See *note)

In a bowl, add the creamy and chunky peanut butter, plus the granulated sugar; beat together until smooth. (I used a hand held mixer to cream the mixture together.)

Add the eggs and vanilla extract; beat until well combined.

Using a spoon; stir in the flaxseed.

Take a tablespoon of the dough, and shape by hand into a ball. (I used a small Pampered Chef Scoop, which is equal to 1-tablespoon.)

Slightly flatten the dough balls with the palms of your hands, and then place them onto Pampered Chef Baking Stones. (I place 12 onto each baking stone 2-inches apart.)

Press the top of each cookie down "gently" with a fork.

Bake in a 350º oven for 12 minutes, then remove, and let the cookies set on baking stone(s) for 5 minutes, before removing to a wire rack and allowing the cookies to cool completely.

Yields: 53 cookies (Each cookie about 2-inches in diameter.)

*Note: Adding flaxseed to this recipe is optional, but if you decide not to add the flaxseed, you may need to chill the dough in the refrigerator for a couple hours before baking. This helps to firm up the cookie dough, plus it makes it a lot easier for handling the dough.

Additional Note: I like to freeze these cookies in a Tupperware container, and just take out what I want to eat for later. I usually put those few frozen cookies in a plastic Glad container, and in no time they've unthawed for me to enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Witches Hats

These are such cute cookies to make for Halloween!

Witches Hats

1 (13 oz.) pkg. fudge striped shortbread cookies 
32 Hershey Milk Chocolate Kisses
1 (16 oz.) container vanilla frosting (See *note)
8 drops red food coloring
8 drops yellow food coloring

Unwrap the Hershey Kisses, and set them aside.

Add the entire container of vanilla frosting into a bowl, and stir it with a spoon.

Add the 8 drops of food coloring to the frosting, and mix it in well with the spoon, then add the 8 drops of yellow food coloring, and mix it in well with the spoon. You will have a pretty orange colored frosting.

Unwrap cookies in package, and taking one cookie at a time, hold the chocolate flat side of the cookie (facing upward) in hand.

Using a small spoon or the tip of a butter knife, apply a small amount of frosting in the middle of the cookie. (The frosting should cover the center hole of the cookie.) A tiny bit of the frosting will poke through the other side of the cookie, but that's ok, you won't really noticed that little bit of frosting peeking through.

Apply the chocolate kiss in the center of the frosting, and push it down lightly onto the flat side of the cookie, just till you see the frosting spreading out just a bit underneath the chocolate kiss.

I placed the cookies onto a large jelly roll pan for several hours, so the frosting will become a bit more dry, and to allow the chocolate kiss to adhere to the frosting. (If desired, you could line the jelly roll pan with wax paper before placing cookies onto pan. It also makes it easier for cleaning up afterwards.)

Store cookies side-by-side in a container, and cover with a lid. 
 (There's no need to refrigerate the cookies.)

Yields: 32 cookies

*Note: You may have noticed there will be plenty of the orange frosting leftover. You can either double the above recipe (except for the frosting), to make 64 witch hat cookies, or apply the frosting between graham crackers to make another kind of cookie, or use it to frost a one layer cake or some cupcakes.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Broccoli-Cauliflower Vegetable Soup

I had some fresh vegetables in the fridge which I needed to use up, so I made this vegetable soup which has a hint of curry taste to it. It was creamy and delicious!

Broccoli-Cauliflower Vegetable Soup

3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup thinly sliced celery
3 small cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons all purpose flour (Yes that's correct, 5 TBSP.)
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 cup chopped cauliflower (See *Note)
1 cup chopped broccoli (See *Note)
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a large stock-pot, melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté the vegetables for 8 minutes; stirring frequently.

Add the garlic, and cook and stir for 1 minute more.

Add the flour, and stir until the flour has incorporated into the vegetables. This just takes a few seconds.

Gradually add the chicken broth and water, and stir continuously with a fork, to loosen the flour from the bottom of the pot.

Keep stirring the pot, till the broth has thickened.

Add in the broccoli, the cauliflower, and the bouillon; stir to incorporate the granules.

Turn the heat to high, and bring soup to a boil.

Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and simmer the soup for 20 minutes; stirring occasionally.

Pour in the half-and-half, and add the curry powder, salt, and pepper, and stir.

Heat the soup through, but do not let it come to a boil.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Yields: 4 servings

*Note: When I'm prepping the vegetables to make this soup, I don't actually chop the broccoli and cauliflower. I just cut the vegetables into some-what small floret pieces, but not too small.