Pumpkin Chili

 Pumpkin Chili

The pumpkin adds flavor, and vitamins, as well as a lovely, creamy texture to this chili.
 I served it with Rosemary Corn Muffins, for a wonderful autumn meal.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15.25 oz.) black beans, drained
  • 1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
  • 1 can (15 oz) whole-kernel corn
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add turkey; cook until browned. Drain.

    Add tomatoes with juice, pumpkin, tomato sauce, beans, chiles, corn, chili powder, cumin and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
          I adapted a Libby's Pumpkin recipe a bit.

Even better the second day with
cheese, and plain yogurt on top! 

Linking to some of these great sites


Rosemary Corn Muffins


Since I have been growing rosemary, I am always looking for new ways to incorporate it into recipes.  Adding rosemary to corn muffin batter, proved to be a winner. We ate the muffins with bowls of pumpkin chili, for a perfect autumn dinner.

The garden in October
Potted rosemary, jauntily growing near marigolds, mint, and lantana
How did I do channeling my inner Martha?

Rosemary Corn Muffins

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar and enough skim milk to make one cup (let sit for five minutes)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and rosemary.
Combine milk mixture, egg, and oil in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture, and stir until just combined.
Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling three-quarters full. You should fill 10-12.
Bake until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes.

Let cool in tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Turn out muffins onto rack.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Linking to some of these great sites


Halloween Painted Pot

Happy Halloween! 

Instead of a messy pumpkin carving session, I decided to go the paint route.
On my pumpkin colored potting bench, 
I spotted an already spray painted pot, which could serve as a base.
The metallic color would be perfect, since I could let bits of the paint show through.

 Using a small brush, I dabbed on orange, and green paints.
I mixed some yellow and red together, as well, and made a second shade of orange.
I left the saucer alone, since if I do use it, 
it looks pretty with the bits of metallic paint that shine through.

While I was in a half squat, wearing only a nightgown, and painting,
I finally realized why people enjoy nude beaches.
 The sun, and wind were hitting the right spot.
This was an unexpected discovery, which makes me happy we have a fence.
Moving right along...
After the pot was dry, I painted on a face.
I used a pencil to draw the face, 
and filled it in with black paint.

I plan on sealing the pot with an acrylic spray, but it has been windy,
so that step will have to wait a bit.

 I added a plant that can be easily removed after the holiday.
The plant stand is too big!
So I tried another location..

Much better!
Happy Halloween!

Linking to some of these great sites

Visit thecsiproject.com


Jack-o-Lantern Jello

Scarface Jello for Halloween

This Jello Jack-o-Lantern was adapted from a Pillsbury recipe that I have always enjoyed.
By using fat free plain yogurt, the dessert is relatively healthy, and very yummy.

Without the candy, this would make a lovely addition to any table.
Yogurt is not pictured, because I forgot.

Yummy! The yogurt has been added.

Pineapple and Mandarin Oranges

Linking to some of these great sites.

1 (6-oz.) pkg. orange flavor Jello
2 cups boiling water
1 3/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt
(or vanilla, if you want it to be sweeter)
1 (15-oz.) can mandarin orange segments, well drained
1 (8-oz.) can pineapple tidbits in unsweetened juice, well drained

Gum drops,  and/or chocolate bars to decorate

In a medium bowl, combine Jello and boiling water, stir until Jello is dissolved.

With wire whisk, beat in yogurt until mixture is smooth.

Refrigerate 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or just until slightly thickened.

Stir in orange segments and pineapple. Pour into a 9 1/2 or 10-inch deep-dish glass pie pan.

I used a regular pie plate, and a cereal bowl for the extra.
Refrigerate 30 minutes or until set.

Do not push plastic wrap into the Jello, unless you want your jack-o-lantern to look like she slept on creased sheets, or was in a knife fight. The bubbles resemble acne scars on my poor pumpkin. They made me love her just a little bit more. 

Just before serving, arrange candies on Jello
to resemble a jack-o'-lantern.


Thighs Be Damned Coconut Cake

While it took me over a year to come up with a birthday celebration (no one I know aged this past year???) excuse to bake what can only be described as the most amazing coconut cake in the world, I held onto the taste memory ever since I willed myself to eat only a bite of my friend, Mrs. Magpie's, birthday cake.

When the cake was presented, I told myself to think of my thighs, which since birth have not grown in proportion to the rest of my body. This is not an exaggeration. Had my mother kept a baby book photo record of my growth, along with my weight record, I would be sharing the proof. Never mind the fact that I reached my adult height of sixty inches at age fourteen, my thighs did not receive the full growth achieved message.

As soon as my taste buds met the cake on that fateful day in 2010, all thigh thoughts went out the window. I knew one day we would meet again. SH's birthday (the hubby, if you're new to my blog) was the excuse to bake.

Mrs. Magpie's friend, Nancy, graciously shared the recipe. Had she not, I would have pestered Mrs. Magpie unrelentlessly. Yes, the cake is THAT good.

Betty's Sour Cream Thighs Be Damned Coconut Cake

1 package yellow cake mix
1 16-ounce container of sour cream (light sour cream worked well for me)
2 cups sugar
1 8-ounce container of whipped topping, thawed (After saving calories with light sour cream, I went for full fat whipped topping. We all have our limits, you know.)
3 6-ounce packages of frozen coconut, thawed and divided (Frozen coconut was a new to me product. It was found near the frozen fruit)

Bake cake according to directions in two 8-inch round cake pans.
Freeze cake.
Three days before you are ready to serve, slice horizontally into 4 separate layers.

 Two of the four layers

Combine sour cream and sugar in a bowl, and then mix with 12 ounces of the coconut.

Combine one cup of this coconut mixture with your with your whipped topping in a separate bowl and set aside.

Spoon and spread remaining coconut/sour cream mixture evenly on the layers of your cake and stack.

Ice the top and the sides of the cake with the coconut and whipped topping mixture that you set aside.

Cover and chill in the refrigerator for three days. Cover the cake with a plastic or glass cake lid, whichever you have. If you don't have either, put toothpicks in the cake and make a tent out of tinfoil to cover.

When you are ready to serve, take the remaining 6 ounces of thawed coconut and pat that on the top and sides of the cake.

Eat a slice of cake. 
Repeat until you see noticeable thigh expansion.
Trust me, it works.

This cake, according to my family of coconut lovers, is the best cake in the entire world.  According to Nancy, it is from the Lighthouse Society cookbook. My guess is the St. Augustine Lighthouse, although my Google search came up short.

Linking to some of these great sites


Barbecue Shrimp Chili

Please vote for Barbecue Shrimp Chili!!

Shrimp and  lemons might not be the first ingredients that pop into your mind when you think of a great bowl of chili, but they should be. After your first taste of this spicy seafood chili, you will be picturing the oceans full of shrimp wearing cowboy hats, and mermaids wrapped in bandanas, with a boot on their tails. No, I swear, there are not any hallucinogens in the recipe. The taste just excites your senses, and makes you conjure up whimsical tales.

My first bites of this yummy dish had me asking a party hostess to share the recipe. She graciously did so, and I have been whipping this up ever since. I serve it over brown rice, but white is equally good.

Barbecue Shrimp Chili

1 1/2 lbs. medium shrimp, peeled, and cleaned
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 can mild chili beans
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon, sliced very thin

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter and oil. Cook the garlic until it is soft.
Add shrimp and cook until pink.
Add beans, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, liquid smoke, red pepper flakes, pepper, and chili powder.
Simmer for 10 minutes. Add parsley and lemon slices. Continue to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. 
Serve chili over white, or brown rice.
Serves 4-6

This seafood chili is my entry at the Texas Star Chili Cook Off
Linking to some of these great sites.