Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dinner & Dessert!

This past Monday, I had planned to make a recent family favorite, White Chili. I was also inspired to make a recipe I came across on the internet, courtesy of The Picky Palate!

The recipe for White Chili came from my handy Taste of Home Cookbook. Here's the recipe:

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used 3 chicken tenderloins, since that's what I had on hand)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (this is for cooking the chicken, I just eyeballed some olive oil)
2 cans (15 1/2 oz each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained (I'll be honest, I don't rinse and drain.)
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth (I used chicken bullion cubes and water)
2 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chilies (I just use one)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (I used skim milk because it makes my life easier. You can't really tell if you haven't had it the original way)

1. In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in sour cream and cream (milk). Serve immediately

See? So easy, even I can't screw it up!

Can you tell I'm a big fan of cooking "whatever" style? As in, "whatever" I have on hand, "whatever" is easiest, etc. :)

The way the onions smell totally makes up for how gross the raw chicken looks

After putting in the broth, beans, etc.

The chicken is no longer pink! (That's a good thing.)

In goes the sour cream!

Mmm a great fall meal!

And now, on to the grand finale: dessert! The recipe can be found here and I'll be typing it below as well. I hope Jenny will forgive my last-minute tweaks!

Roasted Apples & Cream Caramel Topped Brownies

1 box Pillsbury brownie mix, family size, 9x13 (I used a box of Ghiradelli plus a little extra Kroger to approximate a family size)
8 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter
4 small-medium baking apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I used 2 Braeburn and 1 Granny Smith)
4 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I threw in some nutmeg too, because they always go together in my mind)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or other nut of choice *insert joke here* (I used pecans, courtesy of my "nuts" from the South :)
Prepared caramel sauce, warmed in the microwave (This was the only thing I had to leave my house to get, which instantly boosted this recipe's rating in my book. Easy peasy!)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare brownie mix according to directions. Pour into an 11x7 pan. (Sprayed, buttered, lined with foil, whatever floats your boat). Mix softened cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Place dollops of mixture on top of the brownie mix. Use a butter knife to swirl without dragging on the bottom of the pan.
2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add apples, brown sugar, spices and nuts. Cook and stir for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over brownies. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until center of brownies are just cooked through. Remove and cool, then drizzle with caramel sauce.

A motley crew indeed!

Before mixing

After mixing!

Mmm cream cheese and sugar! Also, can I say how much I adore the KitchenAid? It is a wondrous miracle, to be sure!

Preparing to swirl!

I'm not sure exactly what it's supposed to look like, but this seemed good enough.

I love butter, I really do.

This was one of the most heavenly smells the kitchen had experienced in a long time!

Getting ready to go into the oven

Fresh out of the oven!

Detail shots... Yum. I'm drooling just looking at them!

They didn't turn out nearly as pretty as the ones at Picky Palate, but overall, it was really fun to make! They seemed very gourmet, and the boys around the house seemed to enjoy them!

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