Tex-Mex Turkey Chili

Turkey chili is another staple in our house.  We live in Florida and eat this year round.  I remember the very first time I made chili for That Guy.  The Philadelphia Phillies were having an awesome year and it was a late game where they were playing the LA Dodgers.  When he got home from work, he was surprised to see me in the living room watching the game and eating a bowl of turkey chili.  His response, “Did your mom come over?”  Thinking that she’d made the chili.  I know…how dare him, right?  That night the Phillies won and we both swore that it was because of my chili.  LOL  But it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or rather, what sport is in season…we always have the ingredients in house to make a pot of chili on the fly or we have a bowl in the freezer, waiting to be thawed.

When freezing my turkey chili or any other soup, I like to line my bowls with wax paper.  It serves two purposes in that when I’m ready to pull one out of the deep freezer, I don’t have to wait to thaw it unless I have the time.  If there’s something that we have planned after work and I know we’ll be getting home late, I can pull it right from the deep freezer and put it in a pot on low, still frozen, while I prep for the next day or give Suga Booga a bath.  Another reason is that it prevents the soup (especially turkey chili) from staining your bowl.

We like to have Honey Wheat Ritz crackers along with Mexican blend cheese but every now and then we’ll have Jiffy cornbread muffins too.  I remember eating chili as a kid and my mom always added angel hair pasta to it.  The first time i had chili without the pasta, I thought it was the weirdest thing.  LOL  I don’t add pasta to mine but if you wanted to stretch it or make it even heartier, feel free!

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey (85/15 mix)
1 container trinity pepper mix (produce section)
1/4 medium white onion
1 can sweet corn
1 can kidney beans (rinsed)
2 28 oz can of petite diced tomatoes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (enough to brown turkey)
Taco Seasoning:
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Instructions:

Pour your olive oil in your skillet and set your burner to medium high. Once your oil is hot, put in your ground turkey and cover with half of your homemade taco seasoning.
As your meat is cooking, go ahead and start opening your cans of vegetables. I like to rinse my kidney beans to get the slimy goo off of them. It’s just really unappealing and personally I think it detracts from the tastiness of this recipe.
When your meat has browned, DO NOT DRAIN! You want those juices and spices to add flavor to the chili. Add that to your pot, along with your veggies then cover with the remaining taco seasoning.
Stir and cover then turn your burner down to low and let your chili simmer until is it hot and your house smells amazing.Tex-Mex Turkey Chili

“The King” Cupcake

Here’s another Disney favorite.  This is The King Cupcake from Disney World’s Pop Century Resort.  The original is a chocolate cupcake filled with banana custard topped with whipped peanut butter icing, sprinkled with candied bacon and drizzled with chocolate.  When I first heard about it, I didn’t think I would like it.  Wrong!  The only thing I would have changed would be to add more banana custard.  My version is a Devil’s Food chocolate cupcake filled with banana pudding, topped with peanut butter buttercream, sprinkled with candied turkey bacon and drizzled with chocolate.

I have never made Devil’s Food cake.  Ever.  I’ve read recipes for it but would instead opt for just chocolate.  Since I wanted this cupcake to be close to the Disney version as possible, I went here for a Devil’s Food cake recipe and I do not regret it one bit.

Taken from www.foodnetwork.com

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup nonalkalized cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed–I used Nestle’s)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup milk

Banana Pudding Ingredients:

1 package of Jell-O banana cream pudding

1 cup of milk

2 medium bananas

Buttercream:

1 cup peanut butter

1 stick of butter (room temperature)

4 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extra

Candied Bacon:

4 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)

1/2 cup brown sugar

Chocolate drizzle: 

2 squares Candquik or 2 squares of milk chocolate

Directions:

Start by mashing your bananas until they are liquefied then add your pudding and milk.  Whisk until all ingredients are well combined.  Because you are not using the full two cups of milk and the additional of the bananas, your pudding won’t set like normal which you want in this case.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Line your cupcake tins or butter and flour them.  I only made 12 cupcakes and used the rest of the batter to make a Creme De Menthe Devil’s Food Cake.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar. Continue beating until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1 minute more. (Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if needed.) With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat.

With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture, about a 1/4 cup at a time. Carefully pour the hot liquid into the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, finish combining the batter until smooth.

Bake for 20 minutes or until done in the middle.  Set aside.

While your oven is still at 350, line a baking dish with foil then soak your bacon in water while you spread the brown sugar on a plate.  Take each slice of bacon and press it into the brown sugar, on both sides and place it in the baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes and set aside to cool.

Go and sit for awhile because that was tough and assembly is going to take a little more out of you because you decided to do this after work on a Friday with a 3 and a half year old watching Strawberry Shortcake on Netflix with a cough and runny nose who keeps asking for honey, water, Popsicles, and orange juice but no dinner because her throat is “burny” and it might hurt.  Some people are just gluttons for punishment.

Now that everything has cooled, start your buttercream.  Place the stick of butter into your mixing bowl, along with your vanilla extract and mix until the butter is whipped.  Scrape the sides and add one cup of the powdered sugar then mix to combine.  Add your peanut butter and whip to combine then add your powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing for at least 30 seconds in between cups.  You want it to be thick enough to hold it’s shape when your frost the cupcakes but not too thick that you can’t work with it.

Assembly:

Start by taking your first cupcake and cut a hole in the middle using a tool or knife.  Reserve the cake.  Using a piping bag or a Ziploc that you’ve cut the corner from, pipe the banana cream into the hole you created until filled.  Take your reserved cake and press it back into the hole.  Repeat for the rest of your cupcakes and set aside.

Fill another piping bag or Ziploc like you did with the banana cream and pipe the icing onto your cupcakes or use a spatula, butterknife, whatever you have to put the icing on the cupcakes.  Repeat and set them aside.

Break your bacon into pieces and arrange them on top of your cupcakes.

Melt your chocolate–in a microwave safe bowl–using 30 second increments until melted.  Careful not to burn it.  Drizzle your cupcakes with the chocolate using whichever method you choose.  Spoon, squeeze bottle, knife…again, whatever you have.  It’s yours and you can do with it what you want!  😉

When you have assembled your treats, enjoy!!

The King Cupcake Blog

Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels

Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels Blog

This is a Disney inspired recipe. The very first time I had one of the chocolate salted caramels from Epcot’s Karamell-Küche at Disney World, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. That Guy had a peanut butter caramel cookie and Suga Booga had a chocolate and caramel covered Rice Krispie that was bigger than her mouth! We sat on the benches across from the shop and I savored every single creamy, salted, sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouthy bite of it while eyeing the ducks, giving them the stank eye. I didn’t even both to ask if either That Guy or Suga Booga want to try it because I think I would have acted like a wild animal who just had her gazelle shank threatened! They are that good! Every single visit that we’ve made to Disney since January has included a stop at Epcot for at least two. Okay, sometimes three under the guise of sharing with co-workers. I think I did that once. Yeah, it was once. I remember because I was heartbroken that I had to give them up.

My recipe calls for Candiquik. It was my first time using the stuff and I have fallen in love with it. I was the old school double boiler “melt my chocolate and add what I want to enhance it” lady but this stuff makes it sooo much easier. I made this in less than an hour from start to finish. I used a mini muffin tin and had a full 24 each with about 6 caramels left over.

Salted Caramel Recipe came directly from Inspired Taste: They have a great, quick and easy recipe (with a video!) that didn’t require that I break out my condensed milk, etc. I did cheat and put mine in the fridge for about a half hour but that’s me. You can wait three and a half hours but I’m impatient and have a toddler who needed a bath before bed, reading for school, and ironing for work the next day.

Once you have made your caramels and let them set for the full 3.5 hours (or cheat like I did), cut them into appropriate sizes for your muffin tin the return them to the fridge and line your muffin tin (whatever size your choose) with cupcake wrappers. Next melt your tray of Candiquik in the microwave or in a pot but don’t let it burn! There’s nothing worse than the smell of burnt chocolate or popcorn for that matter.

You’ll coat the bottom and sides of your liners with the chocolate–I worked in rows, going across–once you have a full row lined, take your first piece of caramel and rub it in your hand until your form a ball. Add that ball to the cupcake liner then cover with chocolate. Repeat until your have filled your tin or used all your ingredients. Sprinkle with a sea salt and put them in the fridge for about a half hour then enjoy!

And don’t forget to give your little one a treat. While I was trying to take pictures, she patiently waited until I was done before she attacked the plate. She was kind enough to offer her dad and Grandma one before asking if I wanted the other half of hers. Isn’t she sweet? Yeah, we thought so too until she was left alone long enough for That Guy to run upstairs to the laundry room. She got her Dora the Explorer stool and helped herself to one in less than two minutes. I guess the trade off is that she also helps herself to handfuls of grapes, yogurts, and water more often than she does sweets.

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl

This recipe came to me from my 3 bananas that were turning brown and left over pumpkin.  We buy ours in a bunch from Sam’s Club and it seems that no matter how many the three of us consume in a day, there’s always a few left over to turn brown!  I can’t think of one time that we finished the bunch without some left over, begging me to do something with them and then stuff like this happens.  Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Nutella swirl.  It’s rich, thick, decadent and good warm with some coffee or cold with a glass of milk.

I made this one without my stand mixer (gasp) because I realized that I depend on it too much and I was feeling lazy and didn’t feel like lugging it from the cabinet, up on the counter and stuff.  Please feel free to use your stand mixer, just reverse the order of the directions.  Combine your wet first in the mixer bowl then sift your dry before adding to the mixer bowl.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of flour

2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

4 tablespoons wheat germ

2/3 cups sugar

3 ripe bananas

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 whisked eggs

2 tablespoons Nutella (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan then set aside.

Sift your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine before you put your bananas in another mixing bowl and mash.  I used a potato mashed and mashed them until they were nearly liquefied because I didn’t want chunks of bananas in my batter.  Once your bananas are smashed to your desired consistency, add your pumpkin and whisk until well combined.  Once that is done, add eggs and whisk before adding your vanilla.

You will dumb the dry into the wet, a little at a time and stir until your batter is combined before adding your Nutella and swirling into the batter.  Pour into your greased loaf pan.  Bake for 60 minutes or until the center is done then enjoy!

If you didn’t notice, there was no oil used in this recipe.  I knew that the pumpkin and banana would keep the bread moist and combine well without added oil.  I don’t think oil or fat of any kind would add anything to this recipe.

Banana Pumpkin Bread Blog

Cheesy Chicken and Bacon

This is the second time that I’ve made this for the family and it’s still a hit.  The first time I made it, the pictures didn’t look good because it was dark out and my external flash had broken the night before so the pictures looked gross.  Completely unappealing!  This time around, there was a little bit of daylight left and I actually plated it.  Not that the composition is world class but it worked for me at the time.  It’s hard to get nicely composed shots when your family is waiting for you to sit so we can bless the food and eat.

Now this recipe is a lot for our family of three but we had plenty left over for dinner two nights later and lunch the next day.  Adjust according to your family’s size.

Here’s a tip:  If your have someone in your life that loves bacon, please hide it.  As I was checking on my chicken, I noticed Suga Booga in the living room chewing something while playing with her Legos.  Of course I feared that she was eating plastic so I asked her what she had in her mouth and she said “bacon” with a grin.  I asked her where she got it from (thinking she’d stashed her leftover slices from breakfast) and she said, “Off the counter” then started eating another piece she had stolen!  I didn’t even notice that she’d come in under the guise of getting a cup of water and helped herself to two slices of bacon that I had on the cutting board, waiting to be diced!  I promptly diced it and about 5 minutes later she came in and asked where her bacon had gone.  She has gone from being the “Baconator” to the “Bacon Burglar”.

Ingredients:

8 chicken tenders

8 slices of bacon (we eat turkey bacon)

1/4 medium white onion (diced finely)

1 and 1/2 cup of your favorite pasta (this time Suga Booga chose veggie Penne, last time we used Farfalle)

1 package shredded cheddar cheese

2 cans cream of chicken soup (low sodium)

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

olive oil (enough to saute, not fry, your chicken)

Preheat your oven to 375, start your water to boil your pasta, and oil/spray a casserole dish.

Then you’ll want to clean and dice your chicken into chunks then season with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Go easy on the salt!  The bacon and cheese will be plenty for the dish overall but you need a little salt  on the chicken so that it doesn’t taste weird.  By this time, your water should be boiling and add your pasta if it is.  If not…wait.  ;).  Once your pasta is in the boiling water, set your timer according to the package for al dente then go ahead and saute your chicken in your pan with the olive oil over medium heat–we want this to cook slowly and not dry out because you’ll be putting it in the oven later.  Once your chicken is in, go ahead and start your bacon.  You’ll want to make sure it’s fully cooked but not too crunchy.

While that’s all going, go ahead and open your two cans of soup and dump them in a mixing bowl with about 1/2 the package of shredded cheese and your onion then set aside.

When your bacon is done, drain on paper towels then dice and add it to the bowl of soup and cheese.  Your pasta should be ready to be drained and added to your bowl of soup, cheese, and bacon.  Make sure you drained nearly all of the water off before dumping it in.

Now once your chicken is done, dump it in the bowl with everything else then stir your ingredients until everything is creamy, cheesy, and you want to eat a spoonful of it just to make sure that it’s good.  Pour is into your oiled casserole dish then cover it with cheese and put the lid on the casserole or simply cover with foil.  You want the cheese on top melted but not crispy, unless that’s your thing.

Bake for 20 minutes or until it starts to bubble.  You want everything hot, melty, cheesy, bacony, and delicious.  Can you tell I like this dish?

I didn’t do this but if you have the time, go ahead and add toasted bread crumbs on top after everything is done or even crispy bacon–just to give your dish a little crunch.  That Guy and Suga Booga had toasted strips of whole wheat bread to go with theirs.

cheesy chicken and bacon

Pumpkin Donut Cookies

Title sounds weird, right? That’s because it is. I took a donut recipe but baked them in a cookie pan instead then drizzled them with sugar. The ones I took to work were dipped in butter then rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. They were a hit both ways. I had people from other departments I’d never seen before or even talked to wandering into the office for a treat.

This recipe is adapted from Sweetened With Honey

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

Mix the pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs, and brown sugar in your stand mixer (or handheld) until the mixture is well combined and most of the sugar is dissolved. In a separate bowl, sift all of your dry ingredients together then turn your mixer to the “stir” setting and slowly add your dry ingredients until mixed together then pour either into a donut pan or like me, a cookie pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the donuts are cooked through.

Coating:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and keep separate from your butter. While your donuts are still warm, dip your donuts in the melted butter then dip the donut into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Back To Reality

Just as the title says, we are back to reality after spending the holiday weekend at Walt Disney World. Didn’t I tell you all that we lurve Disney? It’s just something about parking your car and leaving your worries behind that appeals to me plus Suga Booga gets so excited about going.

We didn’t tell her what the plan was, I just snuck all of our things downstairs Friday night after she was in bed and Saturday morning I attempted to wake her up but was told “No mommy. My legs are too tired, my knees hurt, and I need to rest.” I told her, “I guess I’ll go to Disney World by myself.” Well those knees and legs were feeling much better when she kicked the comforter and sheet off then jumped up.

We told her that her daddy couldn’t come because of work and she said that work was closed plus his legs hurt so he needed to go to Disney with us. I played it up as a “Girls Only” trip so she went with it and even teased her daddy for not being a girl. Lol

After getting her showered and dressed, I received an invitation to try Be Our Guest for lunch on Sunday. That’s the equivalent of winning the lottery to Disney fans. You mean to tell me that I get to eat in what is supposed to be Beast’s Castle?! I couldn’t get to the iPad quick enough to confirm the reservation and cancel another! I was able to pre-order our meals and everything!

So once I came back down from my Be Our Guest high, we left the first time then I remembered that I forgot the batteries for her Innotab 2S so I went back then I remembered that I forgot sandals for the pool so I went back a second time, got gas then tried to take a picture of my sweet little girl and realized that my memory card was still in the computer so I went back a third time!  In a half hour I hadn’t even made it 3 miles from home!

Finally we were on the road and made it to Ellenton, FL before we hit the rain. Suga was concerned that it would be raining at Disney World and our girls trip would be ruined.  I assured her that everything would be fine and we were going to have the best “Girls Trip” ever!

We arrived and immediately dropped our bags then hopped on the bus to Magic Kingdom. I don’t know what she likes more, being at MK or riding the “school bus” there. We were able to utilize the new Fastpass+ for a few rides so it helped plan the day for me. Not that I have a Type A personality or nothing. (That pre-packed bin in our linen closet full of things for Disney trips only does not qualify as proof!!!) But it helped knowing we had set times that Suga Booga could enjoy her favorite rides without waiting in line for too long.

So after spending about 6 hours in the park, we were both worn out and went to our resort. When we got there we had dinner and went back to the room where we showered, got in our jammies and I turned on the Disney Junior channel for her then we snuggled in bed.  I know that one day she will not want to do this with me so I savor it.  There’s nothing quite like your baby wanting to curl up in your arms and go to sleep.  (No, I am not crying!)

Now keep in mind that Suga Booga didn’t know her daddy was driving up after work. He called at around 10 and told me that he was on his way but his phone was going to die. I didn’t show my panic while on the phone but I stayed up, as tired as I was, until he arrived at 1:15 in the morning. I’d never been so relieved to see him in my life. I couldn’t stop hugging him because I was so happy he was safe. Not that I worry about him or nothing but what would I do without him???

Suga Booga was super excited to see him when she woke up and saw him in the other bed.

We spent the next day at MK again and had lunch at Be Our Guest. That Guy thought the French Onion soup was just okay and Suga Booga didn’t like her macaroni pasta with marinara but That guy and I split the Carved Turkey Sandwich with Pommes Frites (because Be Our Guest is French and they don’t call their French fries, French fries…they have to get all fancy with it) then the three of us split both the strawberry cupcake and chocolate cupcake. All in all, the food was great but I don’t think I’d wait in line for an hour or more in the Florida heat and humidity for it.  Disney did provide those in line with iced lemon water and umbrellas so at least they care. The experience is what I was more excited about than the food.

That night we missed the fireworks because of That Guy’s Fantasy Football but its okay because we’ve watched all of them before, we’ll be going again next month for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (Suga Booga doesn’t know yet!), and he didn’t balk when I requested to take this trip at the last minute. He’s a good guy like that.

So after a short nap we headed back to MK around 10:30 since it closed to the general public at 1 am but stayed open until 3 am for those staying at Disney resorts. (We love this perk!)  We made it until 2 then headed in and called it a night, err, morning. Lol

On Monday we headed to Hollywood Studios for That Guy to get his required turkey leg and Suga Booga to see the Disney Junior show, meet Sophia the First, and Mr. Incredible then headed back to the resort, had lunch and hit the road home.

It was a quick trip with new experiences and contrary to popular belief, there are still things we haven’t done at all four parks.

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