Chili Tortellini

Chili Tortellini

I love Halloween. Not the super scary, gory side of things, but more the “oh look how cute the kids are!” side of things. I love watching my boys get so excited to pick out costumes, and the anticipation of trick-or-treating. This year my oldest settled on Iron Man (after an excruciating 20 minute debate in Target) and my youngest excitedly and quickly chose Cookie Monster. They were spoiled this year in that they got to go trick-or-treating three times. Our last trick-or-treating adventure was on Halloween and, as luck would have it, while the weather was unusually warm, it was also terribly rainy and windy. The husband took our oldest around the neighborhood with some friends, but I hung back with the youngest and my mother-in-law to stay dry (he’s 2…he had more fun handing out candy in his Cookie Monster costume!).

While the husband took our oldest around the neighborhood, I whipped up this FANTASTIC chili tortellini. I’ve made this several times before, and I knew it would be the perfect comfort food after a wet trick-or-treating mission. As usual, all three of my guys gobbled this up, and I did too! This recipe makes a large amount, which makes it great for feeding a crowd, or feeding your family for several days. As with most chili and soup recipes, the leftovers are even better! I suspect we’ll be eating this a lot this fall and winter.

1 pound dry tortellini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons fresh minced garlic
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
32 ounces reduced sodium chicken broth
two 15 ounce cans beans, I used black and red beans, whatever you prefer
15 ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes MILD version
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Cook tortellini according to package directions.  Heat olive oil into a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Saute onion and garlic for about 5 minutes then brown beef until browned.  Drain if necessary.  Add broth, tomatoes, beans, cumin, chili powder and cilantro.  Add cooked tortellini and heat for 10 minutes or until hot.  Reduce heat to a low simmer until ready to serve.

Source:  Picky Palate


Enchilada Pie

So, the beginnings of this post have been sitting in my drafts folder since May 19th, and it dawned on me today that I hadn’t actually posted it yet!  Which is a shame, because this is one of the better recipes I’ve made in a long time.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much commentary on this since we ate it almost 2 months ago, but trust me when I say it is absolutely fantastic, and relatively healthy (and tastes even better as leftovers!).  I will be adding this to our meal rotation again here soon!

Cat and Mo’s Enchilada Pie

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt
1 cup light sour cream
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 Tbsp pure chile powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3 cups broken tortilla chips (about the size of corn chips)
2 cups grated light cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the beef, onion, and garlic until the vegetables are soft and the beef is just slightly pink, 6 to 8 minutes.  Add the enchilada sauce and black beans, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste adn add salt if you like.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, blend the sour cream, green chiles, cilantro, salsa, chile powder, and cumin until smooth. 

Spoon half of the meat-bean mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan or large casserole dish.  Top with 1 1/2 cups of the smallest broken chips and 1 cup of the cheese.  Cover the chips and cheese with the remaining meat-bean mixture.  Spoon on the sour cream mixture and gently spread it to cover the meat in an even layer.  Top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups chips and remaining 1 cup cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Serve warm.

Source:  Adapted from Cat Cora’s Classics with a Twist, page 151

CEiMB: Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing

I am not a big salad eater, but I am a huge fan of taco salad, so I was excited about this week’s CEiMB recipe for Beef Taco Salad with Chunky Tomato Dressing.  Let me tell you, we really enjoyed this!  Even the toddler ate this, and he’s never eaten salad before (although he is a tomato junkie, so he mostly ate it because of all the tomatoes).  The only thing I was nervous about was the dressing, but the lime vinagrette with the tomatoes was fantastic, and complemented the flavor of the beef nicely.  We will definitely have this again, especially since I had dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.  Quick, tasty, and healthy…you can’t beat that!

A big thanks to Peggy of Pantry Revisted for picking another great Ellie recipe.  You can find this recipe on page 77 of Ellie Krieger’s So Easy or on Peggy’s blog.  You can check out the CEiMB blogroll to see how everyone else enjoed this one. Up next week, Baked Beans with Ham.

Chicken Chili with Black Beans and Corn

Well, if you watch the news at all, you’ve certainly heard of all the snow that has fallen throughout the Great Lakes area.  Unfortunately, we live right in the “snowbelt” not far from Lake Erie, and we’ve been pummeled with snow over the last several weeks.  In fact, last I checked a few hours ago, we had 18 inches of snow in our front yard.  This is after we got 18 inches last week that mostly melted before this storm hit.   Needless to say, I am very much over all of this snow!  So, when I was thinking of what to make for dinner on Sunday night to combat the cold and snow, this soup/chili was the perfect fit!  This was very delicious and will be made time and time again during what appears to be a miserably cold winter here.  In fact, this will replace what was my favorite chicken tortilla soup recipe.  YUM 🙂

Chicken Chili with Black Beans and Corn

Source:  Adapted from Elly Says Opa!

2 medium (about 12-14 oz. total) chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or cubed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz.) can fire-roasted diced or fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Ancho chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 qt. low sodium chicken broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup corn
your favorite garnishes (we used light sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, then stir in the garlic. After about a minute, add the tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the mixture together for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

(At this point, use an immersion blender to smooth out the soup if you don’t want chunks of tomato). Add the chicken broth to the pot, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then and add the chicken and black beans. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the corn and simmer, uncovered, just a few minutes until the corn is tender. Adjust seasonings if necessary.


Back in 2003, the husband and I made the decision to bust out of our small, small town and move to Washington, D.C.  When we made this move, I had no idea how to cook.  Thankfully, the husband’s grandma sent us down with his favorite chili recipe, along with all of the spices we’d need to make it.  I’ve made this dozens of times since she gave us the recipe, and it gets better and better every time.  I have heavily adapted it over the years to fit our tastes, and after this batch, I think I’m done tweaking it.  Delicious!!  Depending on how much time I have, I either make this on the stovetop in my cast iron Dutch oven, or in the crockpot.


2.5 lbs ground beef
1 (29-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
3 cups water
4 Tbsp dried minced onions
2 Tbsp good quality chili powder (I use Penzeys)
1 Tbsp Chili 3000 Seasoning (from Penzeys)
1 (15-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

Brown ground beef; drain and add back to pot.  Add tomato sauce, water, minced onions, chili powder, Chili 3000, and beans to the ground beef.  Bring to a boil and simmer for at least 3 hours to let the flavors blend.  If making in the crockpot, combine drained ground beef with all other ingredients and cook on low 6-8 hours.

Source:  Heavily adpated from Grandma GeeGee’s original recipe 🙂

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I LOVE fall.  Seriously love it.  I love the cool weather, the changing leaves, sweaters, and SOUP!  I just cannot eat soup in the summer when it’s 90+ degrees, but it is one of my favorite foods.  This chicken tortilla soup is so easy to throw together, and it cooks in the crockpot all day while you’re busy at work, raking up those fall leaves, shoveling your driveway, or just feeling too lazy to do much cooking.  This makes a lot of soup…we had enough for dinner for the husband, a friend, and myself the first night, and enough for one bowl each the second night.  You must give this a try!

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Points+:  6 (6 servings)

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 (15 ounce) can petitie diced tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups (32 ounce carton) chicken broth
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn

Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in black beans and corn. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Source:  Adapted from Allrecipes

Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili

Every year at the beginning of September, The Rookie Baker household gears up for college football season.  The husband is a HUGE Notre Dame fan, and our Satuday schedule for the next several months revolves around what time Notre Dame plays.  Since we’ve been together for almsot 10 years now, I am also a fairly diehard Notre Dame fan, and we are quickly recruiting the toddler.  To celebrate the opening game this year, I decided to make this chili recipe for the husband.  He saw it on Food Network months ago and has been asking for it quite a bit since then.  Since it was a football day and surprsingly cool for early September, it was the perfect time to try this.  I knew it wouldn’t be something I’d enjoy because (a) I’m not a fan of peppers, and (b) my morning sickness was pretty hardcore at that point.

I’ll tell you what, this smelled amazing, and had I been feeling better, I probably would have tried it!  The husband LOVED it!  I only made a few minor adjustments to the recipe based on what I had on hand.  I highly recommend trying this out on a cool fall day!

Pat’s Famous Beef and Pork Chili

6 slices center-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 cup beer (we used Miller Lite)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
Sour cream, for garnish
Shredded Cheddar, for garnish
Sliced jalapenos, for garnish

In large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until lightly crisp, stirring occasionally. Once the bacon is browned, add the garlic, onions, bell peppers, chili powder, cumin, ancho chili powder, oregano, and paprika and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the vegetables are tender and seasonings are aromatic. Add the beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Once beef is broken up and beginning to brown, add the pork. Break up with wooden spoon like the beef, and brown, until no longer pink, roughly 4 minutes. Stir in the beer and beans. Toss together, then add the crushed tomatoes. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer the chili to serving bowls and garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese, and sliced jalapenos.

Source:  Adapted from Food Network