Happy Valentines day, blogosphere! Or, if you're Main Man, Happy E. Coli from organic baby spinach day...yeah, it's been a fun week around this joint. Did ya'll hear about the recall on certain brands of baby spinach? If you haven't, and you have some in the fridge, check HERE to make sure you don't have to throw yours out like I did. Is it bad that I'm sort of upset at having to throw out an almost $7 tub of organic spinach? I love spinach! I use it in tons of recipes and we eat spinach salads on the reg. I guess that's why this sucks so bad. But I guess I should count my blessings, as I have had no symptoms whatsoever (although I hear they can come up to a week later, but I also hear some people just don't show symptoms so I'm hoping for the latter rather than the former). Anyway, it really puts a damper on the sweet meal I had planned for the evening in with my new lover of a hubby. We also are trying reschedule our weekend getaway to a Bed & Breakfast that we were signed up to do a murder mystery dinner at on Saturday night! I have really been looking forward to this, people...so I'm really hoping they can sell our reservation and reschedule us! Stupid spinach. Here are a couple of the items we made last year for V-day...just in case you need last minute ideas:
Baked parmesan tomatoes (these are seriously amazing and so easy!)
On to some more fun news...this recipe is ahhhhhmazing! We had a chili cookoff for our friend Tony's surprise 30th birthday a couple weekends ago at our place. Tony was the judge and he's not one for a lot of spice, plus I knew there would be a ton of standard chili recipes there and wanted mine to stand out. I saw this recipe a while ago on Bev Cooks, I've told you about her blog before...she's pretty much my idol. I love reading her writing and feel like she's in my head sometimes...it's weird. Anywho...her jalapeno popper chicken chili was a favorite at the party, although not by the birthday boy judge :( I had quite a few people ask for the recipe so here it is!
2 T olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground chicken
2 T taco seasoning
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn (I used a can of shoepeg corn)
1 (14.5 oz) can Muir Glen diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 slices bacon
4 oz cream cheese (I used fat free)
1/2 cup shredded mexican cheese (I used 2%)
1 pinch course salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions, both peppers, and garlic. Saute until the veggies start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the ground chicken and brown all over, 5 minutes or so. Add the taco seasoning and continue to cook another minute. Add the beans, corn, diced tomatoes, salsa, broth, and cilantro. Bring to ta light simmer and cook 30 minutes. While the soup simmers, cook the bacon and roughly chop into crumbles. Add the cream cheese, bacon, and shredded cheese to the chili and stir until melted and creamy.
I simmered my chili for a bit and then added it to a crockpot to be served for the evening, and forgot to take pics of it when it was first done. The following pics are leftover so the chili appears more chunky than it was when it was originally served. It still had sinful flavor though, and don't kid yourself into thinking I didn't finish that bowl after making it to take photos. Garnish with cilantro, bacon, jalapeno, sour cream (or greek yogurt), salsa...whatever your heart of hearts wants in its caverns for the day...and enjoy! As with most chili, it's better the next day so I didn't even need toppings.
You know it's a hearty chili when it holds your spoon up in it! A lot healthier than normal chili with the subs of chicken for beef, black beans for red beans, etc. I would highly recommend this if you're looking for a chili that's outside the box!
I should mention that this didn't take a prize out of the 11 entries we had that night. But Main Man's chili recipe did take 3rd place!! I will also mention that I made Main Man's chili that day so it's really my 3rd place ribbon using his recipe...in case we're counting 3rd place ribbons, which I don't think anyone does.
Mr. Greg Loeffelholz took first prize that night though, so maybe someday I will try to finagle his recipe out of him and post it for you...I know that it included Graziano sausage and bacon. You pretty much can't lose with those two ingredients.