joyeux cuisine

a blog about good food, family, friends, and life.

slow cooker chili.

It really feels like fall today (until later when it’ll be really hot…of course). There’s a chill in the air and apparently there is football now? Fall makes me think of comfort foods like chicken and dumplings, hot chocolate, apple cider, and soup. I guess chili isn’t exactly a soup, but it’s close enough. Zack loves chili…well he loves cornbread chili, which is chili with so much cornbread in it so a spoon can stand up in it. I like him. Thanks to him, I like chili too.

I’ve never been a chili fan. I’m still not the type of person to order chili in a restaurant or anything like that. But I will eat this chili. With a whole lot of cheese. Naturally. I just don’t really like beans. Or tomatoes. Or spicy things. So…yeah. I was totally against chili for a lot of my life. Now I’m a little less against it. This recipe makes great leftovers which is great for Zack since I work all day. He gets to eat chili for weeks after I make it. Lucky guy.

I never realized how easy chili could be until I found this recipe. All you have to do is open up some cans, drain the beans, throw everything in the slow cooker, measure some spices, and let it all go. It’s perfect to put in the slow cooker in the morning and come home from work to a whole bunch of chili. Make some cornbread and call it good. That’s my kind of meal. I hope it’s yours too! Let’s hope fall comes really quickly!

Happy cooking, friends!

Crockpot Chili
recipe adapted from lovely life
makes 10-12 servings

1 15 ounce can each black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes (or 2 14.5 ounce cans)
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
3 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon oregano
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
1 to 1 1/2 cups water

Put the ground beef in the bottom of your slow cooker. Drain and rinse the beans and add to slow cooker. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Add 1 cup of water. Cover and cook on low 6-7 hours, stirring every few hours. Add more water if chili is too thick.
Serve with your favorite toppings; cheese, corn bread, sour cream, etc.
Store chili in the fridge in airtight containers for up to two weeks.
Chili can also be frozen. Thaw in the fridge before reheating in microwave or stovetop.

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cinnamon roll muffins.

After a day of eating and watching football it’s nice to just relax. Or if you’re crazy and went Black Friday shopping it’s nice to eat something delicious in the morning before you sleep all day. I don’t understand those people. Props to you for staying up all night though. Can’t even try it. The bros and I usually go out after all the crazy people are done and are asleep.

Anyway, back on track. My mom had to work a 3-11pm shift last night at the hospital she works at. Only my dad had to get up early this morning so everyone got to sleep in, which was especially good for Mom. I got up before she did and decided to make something for her because she always makes stuff for us when we’re home. There’s nothing better than cinnamon rolls in the morning, but there was no time. Muffins also sounded delicious, but my go-to are blueberry and we don’t have any. So why not combine the two and make cinnamon roll muffins? Praise God for whoever thought of that.

The recipe looks really complicated but it really isn’t. They’re really easy to through together, which is perfect for early morning baking. These are yeasty and dense, the perfect cinnamon roll, but not super messy. And who doesn’t love the smell of cinnamon rolls in the morning? That’s what I thought.

Enjoy your morning. Make some muffins. Go yarn shopping. Keep being thankful.

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

recipe slightly adapted from Sunny Side Up

makes 12 muffins

for the roll:

1 and 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons instant yeast

2/3 cup warm milk (I put it in the microwave for 30 seconds)

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, beaten

for the topping:

2 Tablespoons butter, room temperature

2/3 cup brown sugar

3/4 teaspoons cinnamon

for the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

3-4 Tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Grease a 12 cup muffin tin and set aside. Keep the milk in a measuring cup and add the yeast to the warm milk to dissolve it. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the milk, oil, vanilla, and egg to the flour mixture and stir well to combine. Divide among the 12 cups in the muffin tin and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.
While the dough is resting combine the ingredients for the filling in a small bowl and mix with a fork until crumbly. Divide this among the 12 rolls and either press into the surface or swirl with a fork.
Place the muffin tin in a cold oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the rolls have risen and the cinnamon sugar mixture is melty. Insert a toothpick into the muffins and it should come out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
While the muffins are cooling make the glaze. Place powdered sugar in a bowl and beat with a whisk while adding the milk. Add the almond extract at the very end. You can adjust the milk to sugar ratio based on your desired consistency. Move the slightly cooled muffins to a plate and drizzle the glaze on top.
Serve immediately.

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things to be thankful for.

I hope you are having a wonderful day today. Enjoy your family. Eat too much food (pie).

I made a list. I love lists.

Things I’m thankful for:
Family
Faith
Friends
Home
My cat
My dog
Food
Talents
Music
Yarn
Cookies
Professors
School
Chocolate
Clean laundry
Comfy recliners
Love

[Pictures: Top – Em, Me, B. Arkansas 2011. Right – Martha, Me, B, Em. Chicago this fall. Best friends. Love them.]

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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martha’s snickerdoodles.

This, my friends, has been a long time coming. Remember last week when I said I was making snickerdoodles that night and then totally didn’t? Yeah that happened. Life got super stressful, I was letting myself believe I wasn’t good enough for anything, and things were going poorly. But! This week is better. I’ve had different thoughts about how things should go in my life, I had a really good oboe lesson yesterday, and I made these awesome cookies. Life is looking up.

Snickerdoodles are (to me) the essential fall cookie. They’re so fall-sish with the cinnamon sugar coating. Love it. The best thing about these cookies right now is that I’m taking them with me to visit an awesome family this weekend. My friends Katina and Bethany and I are roadtripping over to our friend/old boss Amanda over at Inside the PH (adorable baby pictures here!!). Her husband, Matt of Modern Day Matthew, told me when they moved that I couldn’t visit unless I brought cookies. So here we are. Cookies.

These are some of the best snickerdoodles I’ve eaten. Probably right after Grandma’s because no one beats her cookies. They’re Grandpa’s favorite. This is Martha Stewart’s recipe because I needed one that didn’t call for cream of tarter. It’s not a bad thing, I just don’t have any. My bad. These bake up really nicely. They were perfectly crunchy from the slightly caramelized sugar and cinnamon on the bottom yet still soft in the middle. That’s pretty near perfect.

Bake some cookies. Visit old friends. Think before you speak. Let yourself relax.

Martha’s Snickerdoodles

makes 3 dozen cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

2 and 3/4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

cinnamon sugar: 2 Tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set the flour mixture aside. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time to the mixture and combine well. Slowly add the flour mixture, about a cup at a time. Mix on slow or by hand until all of the flour is mixed very well into the dough. Repeat until the entire flour mixture has been used. Use a cookie scoop, or by measure by eye, to make even sized balls of dough. Roll the dough in the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on the prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 6 minutes then rotate the pan in the oven and bake for an additional 3-4 minutes. The cookies are done when they edges barely turn golden brown and the middle is just set. Remove pan from oven and cool cookies on pan for 2-3 minutes and then move to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Store extra cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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