Neal’s Best Chili Ever over Brown Rice with Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I’m a big fan of Neal’s chili. He uses 4 or 5 different beans, roasts peppers & I contribute seitan (cannellini bean base). We had ours with baked potatoes but I worried I had baked potatoed you out last co-op meal so I sent brown rice. I like the chili both ways or on its own. Topped with cheese & corn chips & you have one of my very favorite meals. You have had Neal’s chili before so apologies for unoriginality. I did go with carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. They are super moist & it’s pretty much impossible to ruin this icing recipe. However, the darn muffins didn’t rise properly. Oven thermometer, check. Finely grated carrots, dried, check. Careful measuring, check. I’m determined to master this recipe. I love the taste but they look so sad. This recipe also only made 10. Yes, I was cheated 2 muffins. Crazy!

Reheating instruction: heat chili & rice till heated through. Top with cheese & corn chips. Keep cupcakes in fridge. I think the icing is best chilled.

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Beans and Tortillas with Red Chili Sauce, Quelites, and Bizcochitos

Cedar brought home an American Girl Doll cookbook from Becker Library featuring Josefina and her New Mexican cuisine so we thought it would be fun to pick dinner share recipes from it!

Beans: Straight up, simple pinto bean recipe. I used a few new techniques I learned from watching Martha Stewarts Cooking Show yesterday and turns out the same techniques were actually described in the actual recipe in the Josefina cookbook. I learned the beans should be stored in their cooking water in the refrigerator so that’s how I’m sending them to you. To reheat, simmer beans in their liquid on stovetop. Strain beans with slotted spoon to serve.

Tortillas a la Gryffin: Gryffin made the tortillas. We think they’re wonderful. To reheat, I might wrap them in tin foil and place in oven for 5-10 minutes. It’s possible they’ll dry out a little and crack upon folding, but, still yummy.

Red Chili Sauce: I’ve never made this before. It has a little kick to it, as you’d expect. Personally, I only liked it with a small skim of it on the tortilla. If I used too much, I found the flavor to be too much.

I sprinkled some Daiya cheddar cheese on mine and liked it. (Not included)

Quelites: I’ve no idea what the translation is on this. It’s steamed spinach with mild fire roasted hatch chilies and onions. We used it as a topping in the beans and tortillas although it makes a nice side too. To reheat I’d just bring to simmer on stovetop and remove from heat. Drain before serving.

Bizcochitos a la Cedar: Cedar made the cookies and in true meal planning fashion, we picked out this recipe first. We happened to make these GF for my mom to enjoy, which she did. (The tortillas are not GF). The little cookies are unusual and very good. We rolled them out in almond meal which was not in the recipe and I loved the taste of almond in my mouth followed by the slight anise flavor, enhanced by the cinnamon and sugar. Not something I’d make regularly, but they were easy and fun for Cedar to make.

The kids exclaimed this was their best dinner share meal EVER. They do love beans and tortillas though. Overall, it was not too time consuming to make. The ¬†cookies and the tortillas were most time consuming and I had help with them. The beans and the chili sauce were a breeze. I will say that this is the best batch of beans I’ve ever done. Such great flavor to me.

Hope you enjoy! As always, can’t wait for the review!

Baked Potato and Greens Soup with Potato Wedge Croutons and Gluten Free Cookie Dough Bites

There was a picture of the soup in the Veganomicon recipe book that really looked delicious. I like baked potatoes. I like greens. I like…no, I love croutons. ¬†However, after it was made and served, I realized this meal is ‘POTATO-TASTIC’! Not a problem in this family but in the future, I would substitute the Potato Wedge Croutons for something made from something other than potato. Having said that, everyone gobbled up the wedges. I served them on the side (instead of in the soup) with some ketchup. I would make the wedges again with veggie burgers or dogs. The cookies are far from my dream dessert. I think there are people who eat cookie dough and there are people who do not. I DO NOT eat cookie dough. I knew this going into the recipe but I wanted to be open-minded especially since the recipe was highly rated and gluten-free. So, if you are a cookie dough eater, I really hope these satisfy. If not, sorry! Overall, I feel that this was a meal that did not induce any sort of time/prep stress. I really enjoyed the soup and will definitely make it again. Next time, I’d like to add some other veggies and decrease the amount of potato. I loved the broth. I really hope you enjoy this meal.

Recipes: Baked Potato and Greens Soup with Potato Wedge Croutons and GF Cookie Dough Bites