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I realize I haven’t posted since the last time I won my office chili cookoff, which has been a few years.  Yikes!

But, I won again!  I pretty much used the recipe I did before but I had a few tweaks.  I also thought I had a jar of jalapenos but I didn’t.  So I tossed in a can of chipotle peppers w/adobo sauce which added a nice smokiness.  I want to do this version and add a bit of carrot along with the onion and green pepper to up the veggies and add to the flavor – but I didn’t have carrots at home and didn’t want to run out just for carrots.  So, this version is sans carrot.

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Not a super picture – but it’s what I was able to snap at work before my hungry coworkers descended.

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion (I used frozen diced onion)
  • 1 large bell pepper chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground pork sausage
  • 1 lb beef sirloin (small cubes)
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
  • 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 12 – 24 fl oz of beef broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 (15-oz) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 1 (15-oz) cans dark red kidney beans

Instructions:

  1. Drain the canned beans and rinse them well.
  2. Brown meat, onions and bell pepper.
  3. Add tomatoes, coffee, broth and tomato paste.
  4. Add spices, beans and canned peppers.
  5. Simmer for 2 hours (or longer on low in a crock pot – my preferred method).

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It’s Chili Cookoff Time

So, my workplace decided to have their first annual chili cook-off today.  And I got 1st place!  Yay!

I used to help my family when I was a teen when my Dad’s chiropractic office entered a local chili cook-off (we were the Spine Tinglers).  So I figured this would be fun.

I couldn’t find any of our old chili recipes (they were always a work-in-progress anyways) so I based my recipe from “The Best Chili You Will Ever Taste” recipe from food.com.  I did tweak it a bit because that’s fun to do.  My version came out about a medium heat (nice and warming but without scorching out your mouth flesh).

2013 Chili Cook-off Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion (I used frozen diced onion)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb beef sirloin (small cubes)
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz) can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
  • 1 small can chopped jalepenos
  • 12 – 24 fl oz of beef broth (you can also add a can of dark beer and reduce the amount of broth)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon
  • 2 (15-oz) cans light red kidney beans
  • 2 (15-oz) cans dark red kidney beans

Instructions:

  1. Drain the canned beans and rinse them well.
  2. Brown meat and onions.
  3. Add tomatoes, coffee, broth (and beer, if using) and tomato paste.
  4. Add spices, beans and peppers.
  5. Simmer for 2 hours (or longer on low in a crock pot – my preferred method).

Time for an original recipe.  I based this off another recipe I developed for an oatmeal raisin cookie contest several years back.  That recipe was a spiced rum raisin oatmeal cookie.  This recipe is pretty much the same except I use dried cranberries and brandy…because that’s what I had on hand.  Plus the cranberries look a bit more festive and will hopefully avoid being mistaken for a chocolate chip cookie.  I like oatmeal raisin, but there is something very wrong about thinking you are biting into a chocolate chip cookie only to discover what you thought was chocolaty-goodness is a raisin.

Brandied Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cup brandy

Instructions:

  1. Soak cranberries in brandy, preferably overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mix together the dry ingredients.
  4. Beat together the butter and sugars.  Add the vanilla and eggs one at a time.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.
  6. Drain the cranberries and add to the batter.
  7. Drop cookies onto sheet with a spoon.  Bake 10 – 12 minutes.

Soft Molasses Cookies

I love molasses cookies and this is actually the first time I’ve made them (instead of getting my Archway fix) and I certainly don’t think it will be my last because they weren’t difficult at all and I could probably eat my weight in these cookies.

The original recipe comes from http://shortordermom.wordpress.com.

Soft Molasses Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2/3 cup turbinado sugar (for coating the cookies)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and molasses.  Add the eggs one at a time.
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture.
  5. Chill dough for 1 hour.
  6. Form dough into walnut-sized balls and roll in turbinado sugar.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.

Edited 12/22/13: Added flour amount to recipe above (Ooops!)

Apple Cider Caramel Cookies

I wanted to try something different, and I saw this recipe and thought it sounded interesting.  How can you go wrong with apples and caramel?

On a side note, if you are unwrapping the caramels or cutting them into smaller pieces before hand, coat them in powdered sugar or cornstarch or something.  Otherwise you will relive my experience yelling and cursing at a bowl of caramels that had glued themselves to each other and the bowl.  It also resulted in some caramels flying across the room as little sweet projectiles as I tried to lever them out of the bowl with a butter knife.  So, take my advice and either unwrap as you are forming the cookies or coat each piece to keep them from sticking.

The original recipe comes from http://www.sixsistersstuff.com.

Apple Cider Caramel Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 8 individual packets of Spiced Apple Cider Drink Mix
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 14-oz bag caramels (the soft, chewy kind, not the hard candies)

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs one at a time.
  4. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture.
  5. Form dough into walnut sized balls and place a piece of caramel inside (I cut my caramels in half).
  6. Bake 12 – 14 minutes.  Use parchment paper lined baking sheets to help the cookies come off cleanly.

Mint Chocolate Delight Cookies

A couple holidays ago I did a similar recipe for Double Chocolate Mint Cookies.  I actually think I like this recipe better.  Both are quite tasty.  I pretty much stuck to the original recipe from bakedperfection.com for this one except I added a few more chips (I had a few extra in the cupboard) and I think the chocolate pudding mix size is not correct as I could not find a 1.4 oz package of instant pudding mix, I just used the small box which is 3.4 oz (so I think that was a typo on the original recipe).

Mint Chocolate Delight Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 3.4oz package of chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 10-oz package Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together flour and sugars until fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs one at a time.
  4. Gradually add in flour mixture.  Add in chips.
  5. This creates a very thick dough.  I just scooped a bit out and created dough balls and placed about 1-2″ apart on a cookie sheet.  They don’t spread much so you don’t have to leave a lot of room between cookies.
  6. Bake 11-13 minutes.   Some of the cookies will looked a bit cracked on the top.  That is how I could tell they were done since they end up looking similar to how they went in the oven.
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