Tag Archives: garlic

Cheap Chili

Everyone should have a chili recipe that is easy, delicious, and CHEAP! I developed this recipe with my best college bud, Chris. This chili recipe is chalk full of flavor with just the right amount of spice.  Add your favorite chili side, and you’ve got yourself a treat that is sure to please your tastebuds as well as your wallet. What more could you ask for? Oh, and don’t worry, we have a chili recipe that is the complete opposite of cheap that will knock your socks off, too. Look for it later in November…You can thank us later!

Shopping List

Cheap CH-001

  • 1 lb. ground beef (we go low-fat here)
  • 1 lb. ground hot Italian pork sausage (see what we mean with low-fat beef?)
  • 2 packages of McCormicks chili seasoning packets
  • 1 bottle V-8 Spicy Hot Low Sodium vegetable juice
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cans Ranch Style beans
  • 1 can medium Ro-Tel chilies (feel free to use original or hot in order to balance the spiciness)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • salt and ground pepper to taste


  • Heat the olive oil on medium in a large pot. Sauté the onion for 2-4 minutes until translucent.
  • Add the minced garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
  • Add the ground beef, and hot Italian sausage and brown (an additional 5-8 minutes).
  • Add the Ranch Style beans, Ro-Tel, diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, 2 packages of McCormick’s chili seasoning and Spicy Hot V-8.
  • Bring to a boil. Then reduce, and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour.

CH Chili-002 8.24.01 PM

Serve with your favorite chili side! ENJOY!!

Chicken & Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo. This creole classic can be as unique as the family cooking it. As the weather changes from summer to fall, gumbo can be a welcomed treat.  We stumbled across this beauty of a recipe in last months issue of Bon Appetite. (http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-andouille-gumbo). This recipe struck a perfect balance of heat and flavor, and if you are a fan of the creole side of our great country, you should most definitely give it a shot!

Shopping List


  • 1 3½–4-lb. chicken
  • 1 large onion, peeled, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced ¼” thick
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons Louisiana hot sauce
  • Cooked white rice and sliced scallions or green onions (for serving)



  • Bring chicken, onion, carrots, celery, peppercorns, basil, oregano, and 12 cups water to a boil in a large stockpot. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer, skimming surface as needed, until meat is falling off the bone, about 1 hour.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Let cool slightly, then remove meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces; discard skin and bones.
  • Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pot (or airtight container if not using right away); discard solids. You should have about 12 cups.
  • DO AHEAD: Stock can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool, then cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months. Let meat cool; tightly wrap and chill.


  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Cook sausage, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate.
  • Whisk flour into oil in pot and cook, whisking constantly, until roux is the color of a brown paper bag and smells nutty, about 4 minutes.
  • Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic to roux; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add stock (all of the stock), chicken, sausage, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid is slightly thickened and vegetables are soft, about 1 hour.
  • Add hot sauce to gumbo, season with salt and pepper, and simmer 30 minutes to let flavors meld; discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
  • Serve gumbo over rice and top with scallions or green onions.

Recipe credited to Jay Ducote, Contributor to Bon Appetite


Chicken with Tarragon

We all have those meals that remind us of our childhood.  Whether it be Grandma’s pot roast or Mom’s spaghetti, we eat these dishes and are sent back to a simpler time in our lives.  In honor of these iconic meals, we’d like to introduce a special series of posts that we like to call Nana’s Kitchen.  We’re referring, of course, to Ben’s Nana, my mom, Randie.  She’s a fabulous cook, and I’ve spent many hours attempting to recreate her amazing dishes.  Her Chicken with Tarragon is one of my absolute favorites; we hope you like it, too!

Shopping List

  • 2 chicken breasts, split
  • 2 tbl. butter
  • 1/4 cup green onion, diced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced


  • Saute chicken breasts in butter for approximately five minutes


  • Add green onion, stock, and tarragon


  • Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes
  • Remove chicken, and keep warm
  • Boil juices until reduced to approximately 1/2 cup
  • Add cream and bring to a boil


  • Reduce to 3/4 cup until thick
  • return chicken to pan, coast both sides with sauce

We serve this deliciousness over rice and with a veggie of choice. Simple. Quick. Delicious. Enjoy!!

Roasted Tomato Pomodoro

We yearn for that time of year when you can finally turn off the a/c, open the windows, and let in the crisp Colorado air. Fall. It’s simply the limit! The fall harvest is full of so many of our favorite ingredients to cook with, and towards the top of that list are the plethora of ripe tomatoes we find this time of year. The roasted tomato pomodoro featured this week will fill your home with an incredible aroma that can only be satisfied by nomming on this simple sauce. Toss with your favorite pasta, add a protein if you are into that sort of thing, and voila! We hope you enjoy this sauce, and everything else that fall has to bring!

Shopping List

Fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil. How can you go wrong?

Fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil. How can you go wrong?

  • 3 lbs tomatoes, stems removed and halved horizontally
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 10 medium/large garlic cloves
  • 1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked pepper


  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Place halved tomatoes in shallow baking dish with cut sides facing up
  • Place olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until garlic is finely chopped.
  • Pour mixture over tomatoes and bake 2-3 hours (stirring occasionally, and breaking up tomatoes while you do so) or until tomatoes collapse and become saucy with caramelization. (Note: we suggest doing a 1 hour and every 30 minutes thereafter stirring routine for the best results).
Step 1 - halved tomatoes in shallow baking dish

Step 1 – halved tomatoes in shallow baking dish

Step 2 - place sauce over tomatoes and bake.

Step 2 – place sauce over tomatoes and bake.

Tomatoes after 1 hour bake

Tomatoes after 1 hour bake

Tomatoes after 2 hour bake

Tomatoes after 2 hour bake

Final sauce

Final sauce

Buon Appetito!

Buon Appetito!

Pasta Primavera with Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken

Bellini’s Restorante in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is a popular Italian restaurant that first opened its doors in 1990. I discovered it seven years later when I began my undergraduate program in musical theatre at Oklahoma City University. My first experience at Bellini’s provided the inspiration for this dish. It was a simple primavera with grilled chicken, but it was packed with so much flavor that it soon became my go-to dish when dining there. As I began my law degree at the same university I was sad to discover that it had disappeared from the menu. After learning of this tragedy I set out to recreate that wonderful plate of food, and the recipe below comes very very close. It’s a light summer pasta dish that is simple, delicious and stunning to look at. We hope you enjoy our take on an Italian summer classic.

The chicken will cross the road to get into this marinade!

The chicken will cross the road to get into this marinade!


(Serves 4)

  • Two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic minced and divided equally into two ramekins
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. Italian seasoning
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs. red chili flakes
  • 2 small-medium zucchini, sliced
  • 2 small-medium squash, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 10-15 spears of asparagus
  • 10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • Spaghetti or thin spaghetti
We like to use fresh season veggies for this dish.

We like to use fresh season veggies for this dish.


  • Cut a small slit in the top of the chicken breasts;
  • Place chicken into a large zip-lock bag with one of the ramekins of garlic, the zest and juice of the lemon, salt and freshly cracked pepper, 3-4 Tbs. of extra virgin olive oil, and incorporate the ingredients together;
  • Marinate chicken in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours;
  • Place the sliced zucchini, squash, asparagus spears, carrots, and red bell pepper into a large mixing bowl with the remaining minced garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, freshly cracked pepper, and Italian seasoning. Mix together until incorporated;
  • Spread veggies evenly onto a foil-lined cookie sheet and let veggies marinate for 30-45 minutes at room temperature;
  • While the veggies are marinating, pre-heat the grill to 375°-400°. Grill chicken until done. (I use a 7-7-2-2 minute flip ratio);
This grilled garlic lemon chicken really takes this dish to another level.

This grilled garlic lemon chicken really takes this dish to another level.

Veggies ready for their oven time

Veggies ready for their oven time

  • Pre-heat oven to 375°
  • Bake veggies for 30-40 minutes, stirring half-way through. (At the half-way point add the halved cherry or grape tomatoes);
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the desired amount of pasta. (Reserve approximately 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup of the water prior to draining pasta);
  • In a large bowl toss drained pasta with veggies. In order to avoid dryness in the pasta incorporate 1/4 of the reserved liquid from the pasta at a time (do not overfill with the liquid, though);
  • Thinly slice the chicken;
  • Plate the pasta, sprinkle with parmesan, add a generous portion of chicken and Enjoy!
Pasta in the summer doesn't have to be a heavy dish. It can be light, and filling at the same time!

Pasta in the summer doesn’t have to be a heavy dish. It can be light, and filling at the same time!

Steak night is the perfect excuse for date night

We are new parents, and even though we try very hard to keep some semblance of our relationship as a couple, it can, admittedly, be a challenge. We find that the challenge becomes more accessible when we begin to think of the times in the kitchen together as our date night (after little Benny goes to bed, of course).

“We pour a glass, take a deep breath, and truly try to enjoy ourselves.” – Adam

Our steak night became an impromptu date night. We shared our large plate, and enjoyed sitting close and nomming on a delicious pan-seared filet, sautéed mushrooms in a red wine sauce, and a cheesy potato gratin that we think can solve most of the world’s problems. We hope that you can find 30 minutes out of your day to enjoy your favorite person…and some steak, wine and the works.

Cheesy Potato Gratin Shopping List

Developed from a recipe found at Williams-Sonoma

Gratin Ingredients

(Makes approximately 6-8 servings)

  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 1 shallot (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbs. all-purpose flower
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated gruyére cheese (we used a delightful smoked gruyére)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut to 1-1/2 inch chunks.
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cheesy Potato Gratin Preparation

Gratin 'bout ready for some grubbin'

Gratin ’bout ready for some grubbin’

  1. Preheat an oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a nonstick fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  3. Add the shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly stir in the stock and cream. Add the Gruyère and thyme and stir until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the potatoes and stir to coat them well. Cover the pan and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.
  8. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and bubbling at the edges, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Gratin ready for some grubbin’

 Steak and Red Wine Mushroom Sauce Shopping List

(Serves 2-4)

Steak and red wine mushroom reduction ingredients

Tip #1: Let the steak come to room temperature before cooking

Steak and red wine mushroom sauce ingredients

Steak and red wine mushroom sauce ingredients

  • 2-4 of your preferred cut steak (we splurged on filets this time!)
  • 10-12 button mushrooms brushed and quartered
  • 1 shallot finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine (We used the Bogle Merlot featured in our blog).
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 4 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Steak and Red Wine Mushroom Sauce Preparation

Tip #2: Use a kitchen timer, and flip on the following schedule for a perfect medium rare (4 minutes per side; 2 minutes per side; 1 minute per side)

Tip #2: Use a kitchen timer, and flip on the following schedule for a perfect medium rare (4 minutes per side; 2 minutes per side; 1 minute per side)

  1. Let steak come to room temperature (approximately 30-45 minutes). Season liberally with kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste.
  2. In a large fry pan heat the extra virgin olive oil and thyme sprigs on a medium-high heat until fragrant.
  3. Cook the steaks using the following flipping pattern for a perfect medium rare: 4 minutes per side; 2 minutes per side; 1 minute per side – Total cooking time should be 14 minutes for the steaks (4/4; 2/2; 1/1). Note: remove thyme sprigs during first 4/4 split.
  4. Set steaks aside on a plate. Cover with foil and let rest.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute diced shallot and garlic for approximately 2 minutes in the same fry pan.
  6. Deglaze the pan with the wine and stock. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cook quartered mushrooms for approximately 5-10 minutes until you achieve your desired texture.
  8. Plate your steaks and mushroom sauce and ENJOY!
Tip #3: Let your steak rest at room temperature before you dig in.

Tip #3: Let your steak rest at room temperature before you dig in.

 Finished Product!

This meal was quick, easy, and delicious. The company was equally as delightful!

This meal was quick, easy, and delicious. The company was equally as delightful!

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