3 Bean Turkey Chili and Cornbread

October 31, 2012 at 5:41 PM | Posted in beans, chili, Crock Pot, ground turkey | 2 Comments
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Today’s Menu: 3 Bean Turkey Chili and Cornbread


It’s a cold and windy Halloween Day around here today. Perfect weather for my nearly famous 3 Bean Turkey Chili! I’ve got 2 or 3 servings frozen yet from the last batch I made. i just unfreeze it and warm it up and I have Chili! I make it with Honeysuckle White Extra Lean Ground Turkey and 3 different Beans; Spicy Chili Beans, Dark Red Low Sodium Kidney Beans, and Great Northern White Beans. I add 1 Packet of McCormick Chili Mix to it and then load up the great spices on top of it; 1 Tbs Minced Garlic, 1 Tbs Ground Cocoa Chili Blend (McCormick), 1/2 Tsp Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (McCormick), 1 Tsp. Ground Roasted Cumin, 1 Tbs of Cilantro Leaves, and 5 Dashes (or more) of Frank’s Hot Sauce or to taste! I also add 2 small cans of Tomato Paste and 1/2 cup of Water. COVER with lid and cook and simmer on HIGH 3 to 4 hours (or on LOW 5 to 6 hours). I cooked mine on low for about 5 1/2 hours. You’ll love the aroma as it slowly cooks. When ready I topped with just a bit of fresh grated Dutch Gouda and about 3 shakes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.


I also baked a small cast iron skillet of Cornbread. Cornbread and Chili are the perfect couple. I used Martha White Corn Meal Mix. It’s easy to fix, the instructions are on the bag. I use Egg Beaters and Extra Virgin Oil instead of Eggs and Vegetable Oil the recipe calls for. Bake at 450 degrees for about 25 minutes and you have some golden brown piping hot Cornbread! If you use a small cast iron skillet just cut the recipe in half and it comes out just right for the skillet size. For dessert later a slice of Pillsbury Nut Quick Bread topped with a scoop of Breyer’s Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream.


3 Bean Turkey Chili


1 lb. Ground turkey
2 Cans (6 oz.) Hunt’s Tomato Paste
1 Can (15 oz.) Chili Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Kidney Beans, rinsed
1 Can (15 oz.) Great Northern Beans, rinsed
1/2 Cup of Water
1 Packet McCormick Chili Mix
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
1 Tbs Ground Cocoa Chili Blend (McCormick)
1/2 Tsp Ground Chipotle Chili Pepper (McCormick)
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tbs of Cilantro Leaves
5 Dashes of Frank’s Hot Sauce or to taste.
Shredded Cheese, I used Grated Dutch Gouda
Oyster Crackers
*COOK turkey in large saucepan on medium-high heat 10 min. or until no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Add all remaining ingredients except 1 can of the tomato paste and the cheese and crackers.
*ADD to slow cooker and add in the remaining 1 can of tomato paste.
*COVER with lid. Cook on HIGH 3 to 4 hours (or on LOW 5 to 6 hours).

*Serve in bowl or mug with cheese and the oyster crackers, A Tablespoon of fat-free sour cream, or serve with some home made cornbread ears.



It’s Halloween

October 31, 2012 at 2:43 PM | Posted in cooking | Leave a comment
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Halloween or Hallowe’en (a contraction of “All Hallows’ Evening”), also known as All Hallows’ Eve, is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows (or All Saints). According to many scholars, it was originally influenced by western European harvest festivals and festivals of the dead with possible pagan roots, particularly the Celtic Samhain. Others maintain that it originated independently of Samhain and has Christian roots.
Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (also known as “guising”), attending costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.


The word Halloween was first used in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All Hallows’ Even (‘evening’), that is, the night before All Hallows’ Day. Although the phrase All Hallows’ is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All Hallows’ Even is itself not seen until 1556.

North American almanacs of the late 18th and early 19th century give no indication that Halloween was celebrated there. The Puritans of New England, for example, maintained strong opposition to Halloween and it was not until the mass Irish and Scottish immigration during the 19th century that it was brought to North America in earnest. Confined to the immigrant communities during the mid-19th century, it was gradually assimilated into mainstream society and by the first decade of the 20th century it was being celebrated coast to coast by people of all social, racial and religious backgrounds.


Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which is both much softer and much larger – making it easier to carve than a turnip. Subsequently, the mass marketing of various size pumpkins in autumn, in both the corporate and local markets, has made pumpkins universally available for this purpose. The American tradition of carving pumpkins is recorded in 1837 and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.


The modern imagery of Halloween comes from many sources, including national customs, works of Gothic and horror literature (such as the novels Frankenstein and Dracula) and classic horror films (such as Frankenstein and The Mummy). One of the earliest works on the subject of Halloween is from Scottish poet John Mayne, who, in 1780, made note of pranks at Halloween; “What fearfu’ pranks ensue!”, as well as the supernatural associated with the night, “Bogies” (ghosts), influencing Robert Burns’ Halloween 1785. Elements of the autumn season, such as pumpkins, corn husks and scarecrows, are also prevalent. Homes are often decorated with these types of symbols around Halloween.
Halloween imagery includes themes of death, evil, the occult, and mythical monsters. Black, orange, and sometimes puprle are Halloween’s traditional colors.


Trick-or-treating is a customary celebration for children on Halloween. Children go in costume from house to house, asking for treats such as candy (sweets) or sometimes money, with the question, “Trick or treat?” The word “trick” refers to a (mostly idle) “threat” to perform mischief on the homeowners or their property if no treat is given.
In Scotland and Ireland, guising – children disguised in costume going from door to door for food or coins – is a traditional Halloween custom, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895 where masqueraders in disguise carrying lanterns made out of scooped out turnips, visit homes to be rewarded with cakes, fruit and money. The practice of Guising at Halloween in North America is first recorded in 1911, where a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario reported children going “guising” around the neighborhood.
American historian and author Ruth Edna Kelley of Massachusetts wrote the first book length history of Halloween in the US; The Book of Hallowe’en (1919), and references souling in the chapter “Hallowe’en in America”:
The taste in Hallowe’en festivities now is to study old traditions, and hold a Scotch party, using Burn’s poem Hallowe’en as a guide; or to go a-souling as the English used. In short, no custom that was once honored at Hallowe’en is out of fashion now.
In her book, Kelley touches on customs that arrived from across the Atlantic; “Americans have fostered them, and are making this an occasion something like what it must have been in its best days overseas. All Halloween customs in the United States are borrowed directly or adapted from those of other countries”. While the first reference to “guising” in North America occurs in 1911, another reference to ritual begging on Halloween appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920.
The earliest known use in print of the term “trick or treat” appears in 1927, from Blackie, Alberta, Canada:
Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.


The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but not trick-or-treating. The editor of a collection of over 3,000 vintage Halloween postcards writes, “There are cards which mention the custom [of trick-or-treating] or show children in costumes at the doors, but as far as we can tell they were printed later than the 1920s and more than likely even the 1930s. Tricksters of various sorts are shown on the early postcards, but not the means of appeasing them”. Trick-or-treating does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the first U.S. appearances of the term in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939.


Halloween costumes are traditionally modeled after supernatural figures such as monsters, ghosts, skeletons, witches, and devils. Over time, the costume selection extended to include popular characters from fiction, celebrities, and generic archetypes such as ninjas and princesses.
Dressing up in costumes and going “guising” was prevalent in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween by the late 19th century. Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in the US in the early 20th century, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1930s when trick-or-treating was becoming popular in the United States.
Halloween costume parties generally fall on or around October 31, often on the Friday or Saturday before Halloween.


Haunted attractions are entertainment venues designed to thrill and scare patrons. Most attractions are seasonal Halloween businesses. Origins of these paid scare venues are difficult to pinpoint, but it is generally accepted that they were first commonly used by the Junior Chamber International (Jaycees) for fundraising. They include haunted houses, corn mazes, and hayrides, and the level of sophistication of the effects has risen as the industry has grown. Haunted attractions in the United States bring in an estimate $300–500 million each year, and draw some 400,000 customers, although press sources writing in 2005 speculated that the industry had reached its peak at that time. This maturing and growth within the industry has led to technically more advanced special effects and costuming, comparable with that of Hollywood films.


Because Halloween comes in the wake of the yearly apple harvest, candy apples (known as toffee apples outside North America), caramel or taffy apples are common Halloween treats made by rolling whole apples in a sticky sugar syrup, sometimes followed by rolling them in nuts.
At one time, candy apples were commonly given to children, but the practice rapidly waned in the wake of widespread rumors that some individuals were embedding items like pins and razor blades in the apples in the United States. While there is evidence of such incidents, they are quite rare and have never resulted in serious injury. Nonetheless, many parents assumed that such heinous practices were rampant because of the mass media. At the peak of the hysteria, some hospitals offered free X-rays of children’s Halloween hauls in order to find evidence of tampering. Virtually all of the few known candy poisoning incidents involved parents who poisoned their own children’s candy.
One custom that persists in modern-day Ireland is the baking (or more often nowadays, the purchase) of a barmbrack (Irish: báirín breac), which is a light fruitcake, into which a plain ring, a coin and other charms are placed before baking. It is said that those who get a ring will find their true love in the ensuing year. This is similar to the tradition of king cake at the festival of Epiphany.
List of foods associated with Halloween:
*Barmbrack (Ireland)
*Bonfire toffee (Great Britain)
*Candy apples/toffee apples (Great Britain & Ireland)
*Candy corn, candy pumpkins (North America)
*Caramel apples
*Caramel corn
*Colcannon (Ireland)
*Novelty candy shaped like skulls, pumpkins, bats, worms, etc.
*Pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread
*Roasted pumpkin seeds
*Roasted sweet corn
*Soul cakes

October 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

National Caramel Apple Day

Halloween, or All Hallow’s Eve

Five Food Finds about Caramel Apples

  • Candy Apples were first introduced in Arabian cuisine. The reason was that fruit was candied to preserve it.
  • Americans have over the years turned that practice into gigantic apples covered everything from red candy and caramel to chocolate, peanuts, popcorn, and more chocolate.
  • Soldiers in World War I were slanged “toffee apples”  Candy Apples are popular all over the world.
  • China vendors sell them on bicycle, England celebrates Guy Fawkes Day with caramel apples on November 5.
  • Everything from a Kool-Aid flavor to a nail-polish shade has been named candy apple red.

Today’s Food History

1826 Noah Cushing was issued a patent for a threshing and winnowing machine.

1831 Carl von Voit was born. German physiologist whose work on metabolism helped establish modern nutritional science.

1888 Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop was issued a patent…

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Top Chef Seattle Season:10

October 31, 2012 at 9:39 AM | Posted in cooking, Food | Leave a comment
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Season 10


Top Chef: Seattle, the tenth season of the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series, premieres on Wednesday, November 7th at 10/9c. Famed chef and restaurant mogul Wolfgang Puck joins as a judge this season, alongside Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson, and Emeril Lagasse, with Padma Lakshmi returning as host, as 21 cheftestants compete for the “Top Chef” crown.

“Top Chef” offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business at the highest level. The series features aspiring chefs who compete for their shot at culinary stardom and the chance to earn the title of “Top Chef.”

Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a Quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and inventiveness of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. The challenges not only test their skills in the kitchen, but also uncover if they have the customer service, management and teamwork abilities required of a Top Chef. The competing chefs live and breathe the high-pressure lifestyle that comes with being a master chef and each week someone is asked to “pack up their knives” and go home.


Fried Haddock w/ Rotini & Cheese, Steamed Asparagus, and…

October 30, 2012 at 5:37 PM | Posted in fish, Healthy Life Whole Grain Breads, vegetables, Velveeta/Kraft Dinners | Leave a comment
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Today’s Menu: Fried Haddock w/ Rotini & Cheese, Steamed Asparagus, and Whole Grain Bread



It was a very sad day today as my Aunt was taken to the local Hospice Center 2 days ago and I went today to visit her. Her health is rapidly failing and it’s just so sad to see her like that. She was like a second Mother to me. If she can’t recover I just pray she goes peacefully.

My parents were going to spend the day with my Aunt so I was cooking for 1 tonight. So tonight I prepared Fried Haddock w/ Rotini & Cheese, Steamed Asparagus, and Whole Grain Bread. I had the Haddock frozen from a while back. I had purchased several fillets at Kroger while they were on sale. I love Haddock you can prepare it so many different ways and it comes out delicious any way you choose to prepare it. I seasoned my fillets with McCormick Grinder Sea Salt and Black Peppercorn. I rolled the fillets in Progresso Italian Style Bread Crumbs and pan fried it in Canola Oil about 3 minutes per side. It came out golden brown, moist and delicious!

For side dishes I had Velveeta Whole grain Rotini & Cheese, Steamed Asparagus, and Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. The Rotini & Cheese is higher in calories and carbs than I normally like but it’s been a while since I’ve had any and the Haddock, Asparagus, and Whole Grain Bread are all lower in calories and carbs so I can work the Rotini in without it raising either too bad. I left the product description at the end of the post. As I said I also has Steamed Asparagus. I’ve been buying this from Kroger for a while now. It’s the best packaged Asparagus that I’ve had. It comes in it’s own steamable bag so you just puncture the bag in 3 places and microwave it for 2 minutes. I also had 2 slices of Healthy Life Whole Grain Bread. For dessert later a 100 Calorie Mini Bag of Jolly Time pop Corn.


Kraft Whole Grain Velveeta Rotini & Cheese

Creamy cheese sauce with 50% whole grain rotini pasta. Good source of calcium., good source of protein for strong bones and bodies. Contains 24 g whole grain per serving. Nutritionists recommend eating at least three one-ounce equivalents of whole grain products per day (about 16 g whole grain per serving or at least 48 g per day). Product of Canada.

Enriched Pasta Product (Whole Durum Wheat Flour, Durum Wheat Semolina Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate [Iron], Thiamin Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Folic Acid); Cheese Sauce (Milk, Whey, Water, Canola Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Contains Less than 2% of Sodium Alginate, Lactic Acid, Oleoresin Paprika [Color], Natural Flavor, Cheese Culture, Enzymes, Annatto [Color], Sorbic Acid as a Preservative).

Contains: wheat, milk.

Top of Stove: 1. Boil 6 cups water. Stir in rotini. Cook 7 min. or to desired tenderness, stirring occasionally. Drain. Do not rinse. Return to pan. 2. Cut off top edge of cheese sauce pouch. Squeeze cheese sauce over hot pasta. 3. Stir until well blended. Makes about 3 servings. Note: Do not overcook pasta.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 0.33 box (94.7 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 310Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.0g19%
Saturated Fat 3.0g15%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 20mg7%
Sodium 830mg35%
Total Carbohydrates 40.0g13%
Dietary Fiber 3.0g12%
Sugars 4.0g
Protein 11.0g

October 30, 2012 at 1:52 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption on Sunday, November 4 at 9 pm ET/PT

October 30, 2012 at 9:51 AM | Posted in cooking, Food | Leave a comment
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Next Iron Chef: Redemption

A roster of acclaimed chefs will return for a second chance to become a member of the Iron Chef culinary society this fall, with the premiere of The Next Iron Chef: Redemption on Sunday, November 4 at 9 pm ET/PT. Earlier last month, FN Dish revealed the seven returning chefs and two newcomers:

Nate Appleman, Amanda Freitag, Eric Greenspan and Jehangir Mehta from The Next Iron Chef Season Two
Elizabeth Falkner, Alex Guarnaschelli and Spike Mendelsohn from the cast of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs
First-time Next Iron Chef competitors Tim Love and Marcel Vigneron
The tenth slot will go to the winner of a Web-exclusive competition taking place on FoodNetwork.com starting October 12. The four chefs taking part in the Web battle are: Duskie Estes and Robert Treviño, who have previously competed on The Next Iron Chef, and newcomers Lee Anne Wong and Madison Cowan.

The Next Iron Chef: Redemption kicks off on “Redemption Beach,” where the chefs’ resourcefulness is tested in a grueling Chairman’s Challenge with a devious twist: Each must cook with the ingredient that sent them packing last time. Given another chance with this ingredient and only bare essentials, hot coals and one hour on the clock, some rise to the occasion while others go down in flames. The two least-successful chefs go to the Secret Ingredient Showdown, a sudden-death cook-off that leads to the first elimination.

Upcoming episodes continue to push the limits, including a canned food to Kitchen Stadium-worthy cuisine challenge, a Las Vegas buffet battle with an appearance by legendary magician David Copperfield and a “last supper” showdown.

Returning judges Donatella Arpaia and Simon Majumdar are joined by last season’s winner and newest Iron Chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, on the judging panel, along with appearances from Iron Chefs Bobby Flay, Masaharu Morimoto and Michael Symon.

The newly crowned Iron Chef’s first battle in Kitchen Stadium will premiere on Sunday, December 30 at 9pm ET/PT.


October 30, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

National Candy Corn Day

Five Food Finds about Candy Corn

  • One serving of candy corn contains only about 140 calories.
  • Candy corn has 3.57 calories per kernel.
  • More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces — enough to circle the moon nearly four times if laid end-to-end.
  • Halloween accounts for 75% of the annual candy corn production.
  • A cup of candy corn has fewer calories than a cup of raisins.

Today’s Food History

1815 Andrew Jackson Downing was born. American horticulturist, author of ‘The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America’ (1845) and editor of the ‘Horticulturist’ periodical.

1894 The first U.S. patent for a time clock was issued to Daniel Cooper of Rochester, New York.

1990‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice is #1 on the charts.

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Turkey Tacos!

October 29, 2012 at 5:36 PM | Posted in cheese, diabetes, diabetes friendly, ground turkey, Kraft Cheese, low calorie, low carb, tacos, vegetables | 2 Comments
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Today’s Menu: Turkey Tacos



I’ll start off by saying our prayers and thoughts go out to all those affected by the incoming hurricane, may you all be safe! I Had these about a week ago and couldn’t wait any longer to have them again, Turkey Tacos! I used Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey (93/7). I seasoned it a bit with Cilantro, Sea Salt, and Smoked Ground Cumin and I used Old El Paso Taco Seasoning.

For the Taco fillers I prepared a good variety to please everyone. I prepared a can of Del Monte Whole Kernal Corn, a can of Bush’s Reduced Sodium Black Beans, sliced Black Olives, diced Tomato‘s, shredded Lettuce, Deli Style Sliced Tamed Jalapeno’s, 2 types of Cheese Kraft 2% Shredded Sharp Cheese and fresh grated Dutch Gouda, and two types of Taco Sauce- Old El Paso Medium Taco Sauce and Taco Bell Bold and Creamy Chipotle Sauce. So we had plenty of choices of toppings for some great tasting Tacos! To assemble my Taco I first layered the bottom with shredded Lettuce, the Lettuce helps soak up any moisture so the bottom of your Taco doesn’t get soggy. After the Lettuce I layered in my ground Turkey, then Black Olives, Corn, Black Beans, Taco Bell Bold & Creamy Chipotle Sauce and all of it topped with shredded Dutch Gouda Cheese! Ohhh tooo GOOD!

For dessert later a Jello Sugar free Chocolate Pudding topped with some Cool Whip Free.


October 29, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

I bleed scarlet and grey. For the uninitiated, those are the colors of my alma mater – The Ohio State University. During uncertain, stressful parts of football games, I have done a few things that while I am proud of, are a little difficult to explain to others. During a game for the college football championship, the Buckeyes (Ohio State’s team name) were down but had a chance to pull it off. At one critical point in the drive, I said, out loud, that if the Buckeyes won the game I would give up one of my boys to the priesthood. The Buckeyes won that game, so I guess…..um…well….ok. Here’s Maggie…..

Yes. A buckeye is a poisonous nut. And, one of the yummiest  peanut butter and chocolate confections known to human kind. Although some decent commercial Buckeyes are available on the market, nothing beats a homemade one.

And they are…

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