Monday, November 7, 2011

White Chicken Chili

This is a recipe that a friend brought to the same baby shower that I made the caramel apple bars (see below). It was good enough that I requested the very next day.What I like about this chili, the taste is really good and the additions of melting the cheese and sour cream at the end gives is a creamy consistency. It goes together pretty quickly.

White Chicken Chili
(adapted from "The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner" by Liz Edmunds

 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and diced)
1 T. olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can diced green chiles, drained
2 - 15oz. cans white beans, drained
4 c. water
4 t. "Better Than Bouillon" chicken base
2 t. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano
1/2 to 1 t. cayenne pepper (I used these amount of spices - it was just the right amount, spicy but not too much so)
1 t. salt
1 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  chopped tomato
  chopped cilantro
  diced avocado

Heat oil in large pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic, and cook and stir until the onion is translucent, 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken, chiles, beans, chicken base mixed with water, cumin, oregano, and cayenne.  Simmer 30 - 45 minutes.  Add the sour cream and cheese, and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.  Keep warm until serving.  Serve in bowls and top with tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro.

Edited: I baked 3 chicken breasts and shredded them for my chicken. Ialso used 2 more cups of water and 2 more tsp of chicken base. I wanted my chicken chili to be between a soup and a chili consistency. I also only used 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper since I was serving it to my kids. I figured I could add more later, but thought it had the right amount of kick.

This is definitely going in my stack of favorites! We served our with these mozzarella, pesto, bacon and tomato paninis (recipe HERE).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

Made this tonight for a baby shower. They got rave reviews :) (thus the reason I need to post it, so that some of my lovely friends can get it here). We love rave reviews. Even though they have multiple layers, they really didn't take that long to put together. You bake the crust then layer the rest on and bake it one more time. Then drizzle the caramel on top. The caramel really only took about 5-7 minutes to cook, so don't be intimidated.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel Topping

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cream Cheese Layer:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Streusel Topping:
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup caramel sauce (homemade recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, two tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine all the streusel topping ingredients and mix until crumbly. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly but combined. Press evenly into a 9X13-inch baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

While the crust is baking, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Then add eggs, one at a time and then the vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the warm crust.
Spoon the apple mixture evenly over the cheesecake layer. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the filling is set.

Cool the bars to room temperature. Drizzle with the caramel topping (or plate individual slices and drizzle with topping one by one).

Caramel Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cups half-and-half or cream
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix butter, brown sugar, half-and-half or cream, and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thickened slightly. Add the vanilla and cook another minute to thicken further. Turn off the heat and pour the sauce into a jar. Refrigerate until cold. If the caramel sauce has cooled in the fridge long enough to harden, warm slightly before drizzling on bars.

Edited: I got this from I don't love using a ton of bowls (less to clean later) so I mixed my base in one bowl. While it was cooking I mixed whipped up my cream cheese mixture in my mixer, then cut up my apples in the same bowl I mixed the base. When crust was done, I poured cream cheese, then apple mixture, then mixed streusel in apple bowl (used the same bowl 3 times) and finished with that. So I onlyh needed one bowl and my mixer. 

The caramel might seem intimidating, but it really wasn't that tough to do. It came together in just about 7 minutes. Cook to just under soft ball stage so they it is thick enough that it doesn't run off the bars. If you don't want to go to the trouble, I suppose you could just using ice cream topping.