Tag Archives: cayenne pepper

Spiral Chili Dogs

Spiral Chili Dogs

I saw a video on youtube showing how to spiral cut hotdogs and I thought it was brilliant! You may be asking yourself why you’d ever want a spiral cut hotdog…but believe me, there are lots of benefits!

For example:

  • A) your toppings sit nicely in the created slots and don’t slip off
  • B) you are able to get an equal char on each side of the hotdog
  • and C) the hotdog actually gets crispy in that crispy bacon kind of way, mmmm

I think that once you give it a shot, you’ll never go back to eating a regular hotdog…who would have guessed that a wooden skewer could improve a hotdog so much.

I had never had chili dogs before I married my husband, but I will admit that they are delicious. We love to eat chili in the fall and I especially love that you are able to make a big batch of chili with very little hassle. I use ground turkey in place of ground beef and always throw in lots of veggies. I have made several batches of chili for our friends and our friends in Indianapolis used to request it all the time. I will tell you that my chili has a bit of a kick–so if you are not into spicy food, I’d recommend going a little lighter on the spices. 

The Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 15 oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 15 oz cans fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 bell peppers, diced–I used a red and green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 large sweet or red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp hot sauce–or less or you can omit it if you’d like 
  • Salt and fresh cracked black pepper

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Pulled Chicken Tacos with Homemade Taco Seasoning

Pulled Chicken Tacos with Homemade Taco Seasoning

Since I already made yummy salsa, I thought it was only appropriate to make Pulled Chicken Tacos for dinner!

I had already shopped for the necessary essentials for a divine Mexican meal. Thanks to my crockpot chicken it was going to be able to be pulled together in less than 15 minutes with minimal clean-up. Success. I even make my own taco seasoning! It’s so easy to do and much better for you because the sodium content in the pre-made packages can easily exceed your recommended daily allowance. Plus you can make a large batch if you want to because it stores great! Once you try it, you’ll never eat the other stuff!

It’s a mouthwatering recipe…give it a try!

The Ingredients: Taco Seasoning 

Recipe makes enough seasoning for 1lb of meat

  • 1 tsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • Cayenne pepper–based on your heat preference 
  • Dried Oregano–Oregano is one of those spices that people love or hate–so add to taste or omit it
  • Small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt & fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • Pre-cooked chicken
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • Taco fixings: black beans, spinach, cheese, avocado, & salsa

Easy Baked Chicken Empanadas

Easy Baked Chicken Empanadas

Since I have been on my crockpot chicken kick I have been experimenting with quite a few recipes! And judging by the posts so far…it’s been a Mexican kick as well! Anyhow, I made this recipe a few weeks ago before kitchen anatomy was even manifested. I shared the recipe via my Facebook page and it generated some interest, so I thought I’d add it here too! Luckily I had the foresight to take pictures.

This recipe kind of came about because I was on grocery store strike again and when Matt travels it’s often hard to convince myself to cook anything that requires more than 15 minutes effort…and that’s pushing it! Anyhow, I was scouring the contents of my refrigerator and saw that I had some refrigerated Pie Crust. It’s not a typical item I purchase and quite honestly I had forgotten all about it!

SO. There were a few things I knew:

  • I had pre-cooked shredded chicken to use
  • Refrigerated pie crust at my disposal
  • & because of my recent trip to Produce Junction (seriously if you are a PA or NJ resident, find the closest one near you NOW! I am so obsessed), I had 2lbs–I know seems like a lot, BUT they were only $2! pure amazingness!– of Poblano peppers to use

Next I checked my cheese draw. We always have an over abundance of cheese on hand….and jackpot! I found some Queso Fresco from the last Mexican adventure I whipped up in the kitchen. I gathered my ingredients and put them on the counter to formulate my game plan. I started to reflect on the flavors and channeled a breakfast frittata I had tried previously at one of my favorite Philly restaurants, Continental (delicious! try the TANG martinis! it’s a blast from the past with an adult kick!).

The flavors were really making sense to me and I was excited to create something new in my kitchen. Then it hit me–I was missing one thing to bring it all together, sweet corn. I was hitting all the flavors: salty from the queso fresco, sweet from the corn, and a bit spicy from the poblanos. They were little bite sized pieces of heaven! They’ll make a great appetizer for any party (they are good cold too–don’t judge me for hitting the fridge for leftovers later that night!) Next, I’ll work on a dipping sauce to bring to the party, but until then these little pockets of deliciousness can stand on their own.

The Ingredients:

  • Precooked chicken–to spice it up sprinkle with cayenne pepper, chili pepper, & cumin (perhaps some dried oregano if you have it!)
  • Refrigerated pie crust
  • Poblano peppers (or your fav)
  • Sweet onion
  • Corn–fresh, frozen–whatever you’ve got
  • Queso Fresco–or whatever is your preference for your tacos

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Mango fever! Avocado Mango Salsa & Strawberry Mango Smoothies.

Mango fever! Avocado Mango Salsa & Strawberry Mango Smoothies.

I had never been a huge fan a mangos but after dining at Cuba Libre in Old City (fantastic food!) and sampling their Avocado-Mango Salsa I quickly realized that I was missing out! The next time I hit Produce Junction (located in PA & NJ…a land of amazingness! think whole sale fruit & veggies…CHEAP!) I grabbed a few. They weren’t ripe initially and since I was craving them ASAP, I popped them into a paper bag with an apple for two days. Heard of this before? All I remember from my years of chemistry is that apples produce a gas that acts as an accelerant to help ripen other fruits! Thank you chemistry for the practical lesson for once! Anyhow, I created a few yummy things to share!

Avocado-Mango Salsa:

Matt & I are obsessed with guacamole so I knew after we sampled the salsa at Cube Libre I would have to figure out how to recreate it. Please forgive me! I forgot to take a picture! Next time for sure…that is if I can abstain from stuffing my face! ha!

The Ingredients:  

  • 1 ripe mango
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 cup red onion (a little or a lot…you call the shots)
  • jalapeños (optional)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • small pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper
How to:
  • Dice the mango–a great how to located here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_cut_a_mango
  • Follow the same rules with the avocado–I love dicing them in similar sizes because it really helps the ingredients to mesh & do their delicious things!
  • Add the 1/4 cup of diced red onion to the mix–if you aren’t a huge fan of red onions, give them a rinse with cold water! it realllly helps to take the bite out of the onion and mellow them out (seriously, try it!)
  • Dice the jalapeños…as few or as many as you like depending on your preference
  • Give the lime a roll on the counter or pop it in the microwave to “really get the juices flowing”–name that chef!
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Mash it around with a fork to help really bring the ingredients together
Refrigerate until chilled and serve with tortilla chips–homemade or store bought. As you can tell it’s definitely just a recipe you can throw together. It’s super refreshing and perfect for summer.
Not to mention the great health benefits of avocado and mangos! Seriously good food for your body. It’s a win win snack! Tasty and great for you.