Slow Cooker Chili

After reviewing quite a few chili recipes, I decided to adapt a few and make my own. Keep in mind this is a beginner recipe and someday I would like to add chipotle and adobo sauce and tons of peppers but until I master chili, this quick and easy recipe will do for now! This recipe is perfect for potlucks and great for Super Bowl Sunday!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lbs. of lean ground turkey
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 small clove of garlic,  minced
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1 29 oz. can of tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinse & drain
  • 1 15 oz. can of kidney beans, rinse & dried
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I used Fire Roasted tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp. of Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions:

Prepare slow cooker by spraying well with cooking spray or lining with a plastic slow cooker liner.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced onion and minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.

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Add the ground turkey to the skillet and cook until brown. Make sure to break up the ground turkey as you cook it and sprinkle the garlic powder on top.

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Drain and add the turkey to the bottom of the slow cooker.

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Add the remaining ingredients on top.

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Stir well and combine then cover with lid and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.

Once it’s ready and served, top with cheese, chives, and the rest of your favorites.

I used this recipe to enter a Chili Cook Off at work and it was a favorite!

Have you ever made chili? If so, what do you put in yours?

With love,

-R. Vargas

Apple Pie

This was my first attempt at making an apple pie from scratch. I am very pleased with how it turned out.
You can always buy a pre-made pie shell but I made mine from scratch.

I used a simple recipe from the Food Network Website:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/apple-pie-recipe.html

Ingredients:

Dough:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
14 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons cold water
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Filling:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 pounds baking apples like Golden Delicious, Cortland, or Mutsu
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:

You can either make the dough by hand or in a mixer like I did.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.

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Work the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like yellow corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter. (If the flour/butter mixture gets warm, refrigerate it for 10 minutes before moving on.)

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Add the egg and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. If the dough is dry, sprinkle up to a tablespoon more of cold water over the mixture.

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Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

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Make the filling:

Peel, halve, and core the apples.

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Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly.

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In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat.

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Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes.

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Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.

Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible.

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Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

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In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely.

Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of dough into a disc about 11 to 12 inches wide.

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Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes.

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan with one of the discs of dough, and trim it so it lays about 1/2 inch beyond the edge of the pan.

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Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center.

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Brush the top edges of the dough with the whisked egg.

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Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired.

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Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

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Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.

March-April 217Let me know how your pie came out!

Xoxo,

-R. Vargas