Welcome to Gramma's Kitchen where you'll find lots of yummy recipes, cooking secrets/hints/shortcuts and my opinions on foodie stuff.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

WHITE BEAN CHICKEN CHILI

I have wanted to create something different and tasty using white Northern beans. After searching the internet for different white bean chili recipes, I created the following White Bean Chicken Chili for my family. I cooked a big roasting chicken in the crockpot the day before and used the leftover meat and gravy in the chili. I made mine in the crockpot on high for 1 hour and then down to low for the next 4 hours. I think cooked ground chicken would be nice to give it a more chili-like texture (similar to chili made with ground beef). I don't like my chili too spicy so I didn't use any jalepenos. If you like things hot and spicy throw those jalepenos in and possibly use a bit more chili powder. If you try this, I hope you like it as much as my whole family did!!
White Bean Chicken Chili
Serves 6

1 lb dry white Northern beans
1 pound of cooked chicken (cut up in bite-sized pieces or ground)
1 medium yellow or white onion –medium dice
2 stalks celery – medium dice
1 large carrot –medium dice
4 cloves (4 tbsp) minced/crushed garlic
4 to 6 cups of chicken stock (depending on how thick you want your chili)
1 to 1-1/2 cups chicken gravy (either leftover or canned/bottled)
1 yellow or orange bell pepper –medium dice
1 small can of diced chilis
(Optional if you like it spicier -1 small can of diced jalepeno peppers)
1-1/2 tbsp chili powder
1-1/2 tbs ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp Olive Oil

Cover the dry beans with water (2 inches above beans) in a dutch oven and allow to soak overnight. Drain off water.

In the Olive Oil, sauté the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until just tender. Add the beans, chicken stock and dry spices. Allow to come to a boil then cover and turn it down to simmer for about 3 hours or until the beans have become tender. Stir in the cooked chicken, chicken gravy, bell pepper and canned chilis. Simmer for an additional 20 mins. Salt and pepper to taste.

You can also make this in a crock pot – just remember to not add the chicken, gravy, bell pepper and canned chilis until the last ½ hour for best flavor.

Serve in a bowl with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and green onions. Goes well with either cornbread or warm tortillas.

Monday, March 29, 2010

REALLY COOL, HELPFUL KITCHEN HINTS

One of my Red Hat sisters sent me a bunch of wonderful kitchen hints and I thought I'd share them with you. Some I've already tried and a few I've yet to try but will soon. These would be good to print up and laminate for young brides and/or college bound kids.
  1. Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
  2. Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!
  3. Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
  4. Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  5. To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
  6. ESPECIALLY GOOD -For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
  7. Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.
  8. Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm!
  9. ReHeat leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove: set heat to med-low, add a bit of Olive Oil (1/2 to 1 tsp) and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. This is also a wonderful way to prepare foccacia breads.
  10. Easy Deviled Eggs Put the cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal and mash till they are all broken up. Add the rest of your recipe's ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip off the bag and using like a pastry bag, squeeze mixture into egg white halves. Just throw bag away when done... easy clean up.
  11. Expanding Frosting: When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Peace all...and I'm outta' here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

FREE, FREE, FREE!!!

Next Sunday, March 28th, is my 53rd Birthday!!! But that's not really the subject of this post...Today's post is all about the free stuff you can receive from restaurants in your area to celebrate your birthday!

Last year I read somewhere that restaurants would send you coupons for free meals on or around your birthday...all that is required is going to their official website and signing up to be a member of their "e-clubs". Now granted, once you do that you will receive fairly regular emails announcing special promotions and menu changes...but I think that is a small price to pay for a FREE BIRTHDAY MEAL!!

Now not all of them give you a free meal with no strings attached, but many of them do and I thought I'd share with everyone, those restaurants that have sent me email coupons for TOTALLY FREE MEALS WITH NO STRINGS ATTACHED - no requirement to buy one to get the one free or anything! These are the best birthday freebies I've found thus far:

  • SONIC - America's Drive-In (www.sonicdrivein.com) gave me a choice of one free regular creamslush or a free order of tater tots.
  • CLAIM JUMPER (www.claimjumper.com) sent me a coupon for a complimentary entree (value $18.00).
  • RED ROBIN (www.redrobin.com) sent a coupon for a free Gourmet Burger of my choice.
  • RUBY TUESDAYS (www.rubytuesday.com) sent a coupon for my choice of any Handcrafted Burger for free.
  • FUDDRUCKER'S WORLD GREATEST HAMBURGERS (www.fuddruckers.com) sent a coupon for a free 1/3 LB BURGER or OTHER FUDDS ENTREE OF EQUAL OR LESSER VALUE.
  • DENNY'S (www.Denny's.com) sent a coupon for a free ORIGINAL GRAND SLAM.
  • COLDSTONE CREAMERY (www.coldstonecreamery.com) sent a coupon for one free LIKE IT CREATE YOUR OWN CREATION (ice cream + one mix-in).
Many other restaurants sent me BOGO free coupons, or coupons for free appetizers or desserts with the purchase of at least one entree. Unfortunately, I really can't afford the required purchase to get the freebie! BUT I MOST DEFINITELY CAN ENJOY A FREE MEAL WITH NO MINIMUM PURCHASE REQUIRED!! (in most cases the tax/tip is not included, but that's really "nothing").

Well, I hope some of you will check these out and enjoy your own free birthday gift! You may even want to check out some restaurants in your locale...you never know what you might receive.

Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

FREE SAMPLE OF DUNKIN' DONUTS COFFEE

So, if you've never tasted Dunkin Donuts Coffee, now is your opportunity!! Dunkin Donuts is giving away FREE samples so as many people as possible will give it a try. It is very good!!! I like it better than Starbucks ground coffee and much better than my everyday brand. It has a rich, comforting flavor == and the aroma is to die for as it brews.

So check it out. Click below and fill out the form for your free sample. You won't be sorry you did!!

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Popcornopolis

If you have never tasted the products from POPCORNOPOLIS, you don't know what you are missing. Last week at my local Sam's Club, there was a special booth sampling the various flavors of popcorn from POPCORNOPOLIS and I tried them all. They were AWESOME! My favorites were the Zebra and Cheese flavors.

Order some today for personal enjoyment or gifts. You won't regret it!!

Peace...and I'm outta' here.

Another Good Natural No-Calorie Sweetener

After my previous blog entry about No-Calorie Sweetners, I received an email from a representative of PureVia, asking if I'd like to try it as well. I said "Of course" and received a box of it in the mail to try.

Well, I've given PureVia a try using it on a daily basis. I like this NATURAL ZERO-CALORIE SWEETENER very much. It is "Made from pure sweet Stevia Extract" like Truvia and has no discernable aftertaste in my opinion. I've used it in my oatmeal, on my corn flakes, in iced tea and on fruit. I have not used it in any baking, but that's because it only comes in single use packets. I wish it could be purchased like regular sugar in 5 lb bags. I would like to try it in fresh squeezed lemonade, but I'm not too crazy about having to open that many little packets.

The only other negative in my opinion is the price. Unless it is on sale, all the Stevia based no-calorie sweeteners are a bit pricey. However, when one considers the health benefits of using NATURAL ZERO-CALORIE SWEETENERS vs. Artificial sweeteners or regular sugar, then the price becomes not as prohibitive.

I know this: Since discovering both PureVia and Truvia, I will never use regular sugar for cereal, drinks or sprinkling on fruit again. And if/when these products are available in bulk sizes, I'll not use regular sugar for anything.

If you want to restrict your intake of sugar for health/medical reasons but don't like the chemical taste of ARTIFICIAL sweetening products, give PureVia a try. It is well-worth the price in this bloggers opinion!!!

Peace...and I'm outta' here.