Monday, January 25, 2016

Slow Cooker Turkey 2-Way Chili

I'm excited to start a new Healthy (Mostly) Slow Cooker Recipe Series on the blog. I'll be sharing (mostly) healthy recipes you can make in your slow cooker with a few decadent recipes thrown in every once in a while!
This first recipe I am calling "Turkey 2-Way" Chili. I incorporated 2 types of turkey, ground turkey and smoked turkey sausage, for extra flavor. I love using smoked meats in chili and this recipe does not disappoint!

I'm a bit of a wimp when it comes to spices, so if you like your chili on the spicy side, feel free to add more chili powder, however I encourage you to taste the chili after a few hours of cooking first and then adjust the spices to suit your taste. The 2 tablespoons of chili powder plus the cayenne pepper might be enough for you...

I'd also like to point out that the consistency of my chili was thicker than I would have liked. I recommend adding some broth to loosen it up, which I have added to the recipe below.

The beauty of this chili is that you can customize it to suit your taste! If you prefer thicker chili, like the photos, you can leave out the broth or you can judge the consistency about 3/4 of the way through the cooking process and add the broth at that time if you prefer chili with more liquid like me.
However you prefer it, I hope you enjoy!

Turkey 2-Way Slow Cooker Chili
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 lb smoked turkey sausage, diced
1 medium onion diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 15oz cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 15oz cans petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 15oz can fire roasted corn or regular corn
1/2 cup pickled jalapenos
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper


In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the diced smoked sausage and cook until browned. Remove from pan and add the ground turkey. Cook, breaking apart with a wooden spoon, until browned and no longer pink. Try to get some good brown color on the ground turkey meat for additional flavor. Remove from pan and place the meat into your slow cooker.

Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine.

Cook on low for 6 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve topped with cheese, tortilla chips, sour cream, diced green onions, avocado and cilantro if desired. Of course, if you add the cheese, sour cream etc... it makes the chili less healthy : )

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Cookie Butter and Raspberry Jam Heart-print Cookies

Who doesn't love Valentine's Day? I'm a sucker for anything heart shaped (as you can tell from the blog logo). This month's Creative Cookie Exchange theme was Hearts/Love....totally up my alley.

I had a total baking fail with my Raspberry Palmiers so I went with these Cookie Butter and Raspberry Jam "Heartprint" Cookies. The heart shape makes them perfect for Valentine's Day, but really they would be cute for any occasion especially if you're a cookie butter fan like I am!

Cookie Butter & Raspberry Jam Heart-print Cookies
Makes 24 cookies

Note: This recipe requires a total of 30 minutes of chilling time

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup Trader Joe's Cookie Butter (or Speculoos Cookie Butter)
1 large egg, room temp
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam


Place the raspberry jam in a small bowl and stir to loosen. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Place the butter and both sugars in the bowl of your electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or use your electric hand mixer). Cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (approx. 1 minute). Scrape down the beater and the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add the cookie butter and mix on low speed until combined.

Add the egg and vanilla and mix on low speed until combined. Scrape down the paddle and bottom & sides of the bowl again.

Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Refrigerate the dough for 10 miunutes to make it easier to handle.

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll into 1 1/2" balls.

Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place 12 balls approx. 2" apart on each cookie sheet. With the palm of your hand (or bottom of a glass), flatten each ball into disk approx. 1 3/4" in diameter.

Using your finger, or the bottom of a wooden spoon, make a heart pattern into the top of each cookie. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350f

After 20 minutes, place the baking sheets in the oven and bake approx. 10 minutes. The cookies should look slightly set but should not be all the way done.

Remove from oven. At this point, the heart pattern will probably have faded quite a bit. Using your finger, or bottom of a wooden spoon, reshape the heart pattern. Fill each heart with raspberry jam and return to the oven to bake for another 2 minutes.

Remove from the oven. Cool on the cookie sheets for 30 seconds then remove to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

These cookies are best the same day they are made/. Store leftovers tightly covered in an air tight container for up to 1 day.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Brown Butter & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars with Fleur de Sel for #TheLeftoversClub

For this month's Leftovers Club, I was paired with Michele! Michele has a great blog called Always Bakin (love the name!) and has recently taken over the reigns as fearless leader/organizer extraordinaire of The Leftovers Club!  Our previous fearless leader, Elizabeth from Food Ramblings, just had an adorable baby boy just a few days ago! Congratulations, Elizabeth!! Thank you so much for all you have done for the club.
This month, I had a really tough time deciding which recipe I wanted to share. I actually sent Michele 2 different options because I was so indecisive... these Brown Butter & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and a loaf of Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake. Well, Michele was absolutely no help at all because she loved them both! Haha....

I decided to share the recipe for the bars because well...brown butter+nutella+chocolate+fleur de sel = duh! Need I say more? I will definitely post the recipe for the Sour Cream Cinnamon Coffee Cake later, but for now here's a preview pic...
I really enjoy being a part of The Leftovers Club. Swapping baked goods with fellow bloggers is a lot of fun! If you'd like to sign up to be a part of the club, I highly recommend it. Check out all of the details here....


Brown Butter & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars w/Fleur de Sel
Makes 1 9"x13 pan, approx. 18 bars
Note: This recipe requires chilling so plan ahead
2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temp
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup nutella
Fleur de Sel for sprinkling
Make the brown butter
Place the butter in a sauce pan, and melt over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally. Continue with this process...the butter will foam up and have lots of bubbles, then the foaming will gradually subside, the butter mixture will become translucent and brown bits will form at the bottom of the pan. The butter will also become fragrant and smell nutty/caramel-y. Once the brown bits have formed, remove the butter from the heat and pour into a glass bowl. Cool the brown butter completely. approx 1-2 hours. I like to wait until mine has somewhat solidified.
Once the brown butter has cooled completely, scoop/pour it into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Make sure you get all of the brown bits, that's the flavor!
Add both sugars to the bowl and mix on low speed until well combined (approx 30 seconds). Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add the eggs, vanilla extract and sour cream. Mix on low speed until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Refrigerate the dough for 3 hours or overnight.
Line a 9x13" pan with nonstick foil or spray regular foil with nonstick cooking spray.
Place 2/3 of the dough in the pan and press into an even layer. Tip: Since the dough is somewhat stiff when it comes out of the fridge, I found it was easier to place small chunks of the dough all over the bottom of the baking pan (they should be close together) and then press them together in an even layer. If you put one huge chunk of dough into the pan and try to press it out into an even layer that way, it's a lot harder to do.
Heat the nutella in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up, then scoop/pour it into 3 rows across the length of the pan. Tip: Imagine cutting the bars into 3 rows along the length (the 13" side) of the pan. You want to place your 3 rows of nutella in the center of those 3 rows so that the streak of nutella is in the center of each bar when you cut it.
Crumble the remaining cookie dough randomly over the top. Tip: Don't cover up the stripes of nutella too much, you want those to be peaking out a bit when they're done baking so you see little puddles of nutella.
Bake at 350 for approx 15-20 minutes. Do not overbake! The dough should look lightly golden brown but should still be somewhat what (not completely set or dry). Tip: If you overbake, the cookie bars will be dry but don't worry, there's a fix for this! Just microwave the bars a few seconds before you eat one to warm it up and make it gooey.
Remove from the oven and place on a wire baking rack to cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, sprinkle a touch of Fleur de Sel over the top (try to get some of it on the puddles of nutella peaking out of the dough).

Allow to cool completely, then remove from the pan using the foil as your handle. Cut into bars & serve!
Leftovers can be stored in an air tight container at room temp for up to 2 days or send some to your Leftovers Club Partner like I did! : )