Showing posts with label fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fall. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Autumn Chicken and Corn Chili

This autumn I've been trying to think outside the box a bit by making familiar seasonal recipes I love, but with a twist. Last week I had a hankering for something warm and hearty so I made chili. I'd normally make my mother's more traditional chili recipe but this time I went with a Chicken and Corn Chili. I haven't posted recipes in awhile because I realize I'm not an expert and there are thousands of foodie blogs more worth our time, but I do want to share this one. It was delicious and isn't online since I found it in Rachael Ray's EveryDay. 

Chicken and Corn Chili

You'll need:
2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 TBSP minced garlic
1/3 cup chili powder
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 TBSP dried oregano
Coarse salt and pepper
1 tsp. cayenne
1 qt. chicken broth
2 chopped red potatoes
3 cups corn
1 can chopped chiles (optional)
1 1/2 cus chopped raw chicken
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded jack cheese
Oyster crackers 

In a large dutch oven, heat the oil over high heat. Add the onions and stir over medium-low heat until soft. Stir in the garlic, 3 cups water, chicken broth and red potatoes. Simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the chile powder, cumin, oregano, 1 TBSP salt, 1 1/2 tsp pepper and the cayenne. Add corn, chiles and chicken, simmer for 15 minutes (or until chicken is fully cooked).

Stir in heavy cream and cheese.

Top with oyster crackers and chives.

This recipe says it serves 10, but it disappeared between four of us (ahem, seconds and thirds). I left out the chiles and in order to cut down on cooking time, cooked the chopped chicken prior to adding it. But any recipe like this is highly adaptable, I'll probably add more potatoes and corn next time.

Have you tried any unique seasonal recipes this year? Share a link below!

Michaela Rae

Monday, November 14, 2011

Update + Happy Fall Finds

This last week flew by! I began my new job and it seems everyday when I get home I'm too tired to think about grocery shopping and laundry much less blogging. But here I am with a bit of an update all the same - I miss blogging. :-)

Working has been fun. I'm glad I chose to do retail instead of a desk job, it allows me to experience the culture more and have all sorts of random conversations with people about life. Sometimes being here doesn't seem so different after all, besides the moments when I accidentally talk in dollar amounts instead of pounds or use the word holiday and they think I'm talking about vacationing. It's also weird to be the the one with the foreign accent. I'm not sure why it's still a big deal, seeing as London is so integrated, but I guess there aren't many Americans here.

The weather has really taken a turn the last few days. Today marked the gloomiest of all since arriving. I have to admit, it got to me a bit. I wondered how people live here permanently. You'd have to have a thick emotional skin; I'm not convinced I do ;-). 

It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is right around the corner! I'm getting pretty excited for the abnormal occasion that it'll be. Thankfully, we'll get a little taste of home still. We plan on celebrating with our friend AJ from CA and his parents. Not exactly sure what the plans are, but if they involve familiar faces and food, I'll be pretty thankful ;). What are your thanksgiving plans?

Here are some pins that just scream "happy fall" (and/or "buy me") that I found this week.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes w/ Homemade Pumpkin Puree

Good morning & happy haLlOwEeN!
You probably have pumpkin coming out of your ears by now, but if you're like me, and never get tired of it, here's another recipe (actually two) to try!

These Pumpkin Spice Pancakes are so good and would be perfect for breakfast on Halloween, Thanksgiving or even Christmas morning. They obviously call for pumpkin puree. So yes, I made my own! I'll first share my pumpkin puree recipe with you and then the pancake recipe.

I couldn't believe how easy it was to make puree. After cutting and emptying the pumpkin of it's seeds I simply baked it at 400F for 30 minutes on a baking sheet. Before baking I put a little water in the bottom of the baking sheet and rubbed a little canola oil on the outside of the pumpkin pieces. Once baked, it was so easy to scoop the pumpkin out into a bowl. I used my magic bullet (gotta love it!) to process the pumpkin a bit for a smoother texture. I then sieved out some of the extra liquid so the puree wasn't runny. And that's it! I have a whole bowl in the fridge that I'm slowly using for different recipes.
I found the Pumpkin Spice Pancakes recipe through Pinterest (my pins). I honestly wouldn't change anything about this recipe by Annie's Eats. The pancakes were so fluffy and the flavor was a perfect blend of pumpkin and spices. Not over the top but just right. Kurt's a picky eater and he really loved these. :-P

You'll need:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 large egg
2 TBSP vegetable oil or melted butter

Mix the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet in another. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk them together. The batter may still have a few lumps - that's fine.

Heat greased skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once hot, add 1/3 cup scoop of batter to the pan. Cook until bubbles begin to form on the top surface. Carefully flip with a spatula and cook the second side until golden brown.

Enjoy with a little cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, whipped cream or all on their own!

I'm just loving this fall season! I hope you guys are too. On Saturday Kurt and I road bikes through central London with two of our new friends. It was such a blast and a really cool way to see the city (not to mention get exercise, ouch). Experiencing the change of seasons is so awesome.
Green Park in central London
Michaela Rae

Friday, October 21, 2011

White Chocolate Butter Pecan Cookies

Remember my sorrowful post about not being able to find canned pumpkin? Well, I still had all of the other ingredients for that delicious-looking Pumpkin Pie Coffee Cake with Crumbled Pecan Topping recipe lying around and wanted to use them (especially the pecans). I didn't have to look long, when I came across a recipe for Butter Pecan Cookies it was a sealed deal! And I knew as soon as I smelled the incredible aroma coming from my oven this was one to share.

I decided to add white chocolate chips to my cookies. I was inspired by a similar recipe for Butter Pecan Cookies that called for butterscotch chips, but I couldn't find them (another thing the British are missing out on?). The white chocolate chips were a really tasty addition though, so I'm glad I went with them.

What you'll need:
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temp.
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for coating
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white chocolate or butterscotch chips

Preheat your oven to 350° F. On a baking-sheet roast your pecans until fragrant (about 6-10 mins). Let cool and then finely chop.

Cream your butter for about a minute. Add sugar and blend the two together for another minute. Beat in vanilla, salt and flour. If it seems like hardly any dough, never fear, it'll make at least a dozen cookies. 

Fold in pecans and white chocolate chips (I used the mini ones).

Separate, squeeze and roll dough into small balls. Roll the balls in sugar before placing them on your baking-sheet (about 3 inches apart).

Gently flatten with the bottom of a glass. Reshape the edges of the cookies if you want them to be all purdy.

Bake until just golden brown (~12 mins).

Enjoy them warm with a glass of milk or all on their own! They are seriously so melt-in-your-mouth delicious and perfect for a fall party.

If you try them do let me know what you think. My next mission is to make something that involves Nutella, any suggestions? Happy Friday everyone; enjoy your weekend!

Michaela Rae

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Monday, October 10, 2011


Happy Monday! I hope your weekend was great; mine was :-). Instead of touring ourselves to death, like we nearly did last weekend, Kurt and I decided to have a lazy Saturday. We slept in, ate breakfast for lunch and laid around in our pjs reading and talking for the majority of the day.

As usual, after spending some time on Pinterest, I was inspired to bake. Don’t you love Pinterest for that (mine)? So for the fourth time that week (I’ll explain later), I ran to the grocery store to get ingredients for Pumpkin Pie Coffee Cake with Crumbled Pecan Topping. Doesn’t that sound like the best thing ever? I gathered what I needed but couldn’t find the pumpkin for the life of me. I soon discovered that CANNED PUMPKIN IS NOT SOLD IN THE UK. Or at least not at the three different stores where I then proceeded to look. Talk about heartbreak, I was depressed for a good two hours. 

Can you imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Neither can I. I found online stores that sell Libby's Canned Pumpkin but they're all a bit spendy. Have any suggestions? Or know of a recipe for making pumpkin puree from scratch (I might just be that daring). And in the meantime, I’d love if you made the Pumpkin Pie Coffee Cake and let me know how it is. The recipe's here.

As for frequent grocery runs, that’s just the way it goes around there. We quickly discovered that Morrison’s was going to be our second home when considering that food is sold more fresh here, we have a dorm room sized fridge and carrying two bags of groceries up 4 flights of stairs is enough for our poor American bodies.

We've decided to attend Queens Road Church, and we're pretty excited about it :-). I love how integrated it is, young and old, obviously from all walks of life. People seem really down to earth and have been really welcoming. We've already gone to a Life Group that they have during the week and on Sunday we went to the park with a group of 10 or so to eat lunch. Good community was one things at the top of our list when looking and it definitely seems we'll find it there. Oh, and it's a three minute walk from our flat, nice bonus. :-)

In other news, you guys should really consider going without internet at your house for a week so. It's been quite great. You'll find more time to enjoy reading, talk to your spouse (haha), play board games (Rivals for Catan is really fun), go for walks, and just reflect. :-) Although we'll probably have internet by the end of the week, I'm going to try and spend less time online knowing how it benefitted me the last 3 weeks. 

Michaela Rae

Thursday, September 8, 2011

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte

There are two things I've heard people raving about this week: the cool autumn weather and Starbucks's Pumpkin Spice Latte being back in stores. So I figured what better time to introduce you to the Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe I found on Vanilla & Lace. It's ever so tasty, easy to make, and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

For 1 serving size* you'll need:
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8 cup espresso or 1/4 cup really strong coffee

In a mason jar with a lid (or something that can be sealed & is microwavable; I improvised.) combine the milk, pumpkin and sugar.

Shake vigorously until it's slightly foamy and then microwave for one minute. Repeat this step until it's foamy and hot to your satisfaction. Add the vanilla extract and stir/shake lightly.

Pour it into your mug while holding back the foam with a spoon. Add your espresso/coffee. Then top it off with the foam.*

And that's IT! Enjoy your creamy delicious, affordable, Pumpkin Spice Latte!

If you try it, do let me know what you think. It's really the type of recipe you can play around with. If you prefer a more milky flavor over pumpkin (like Starbucks's) you can just adjust the portions of each to find your perfect combination. Happy Autumn! :-)

Link up your Thursday adventure here: Alicia's Homemaking.

Michaela Rae

*I doubled my recipe and actually skipped the foam part. 
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