Thursday, August 12, 2010

Frito Pie

I'm taking a break from the sweets, so this one's a dinner post. Nothing too creative or anything, but it was new to me.

While on vacation last weekend, husband randomly mentions we should make a frito pie. I don't recall ever having one before. We decided to make it, and I wanted to try it from scratch. I'd never made chili before, so this was new too, but I thought it came out pretty well, and I preferred it to the canned stuff.

I started with this recipe as a base for the meat seasonings: Easy Taco Salad Frito Pie

I also looked at a few other chili recipes and decided to add cayenne pepper, paprika, basil, and a little sugar. This is about what I ended up with, but again, I didn't quite measure everything. I may have ended up with a bit more of some spices, but just taste as you go along and add more as needed.

Frito Pie

1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
1 can spicy chili beans, drained
1 lb ground beef (my pack was 1.18 lbs)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 oz can tomato sauce
8 oz can tomato paste with a few spoons of water
1 can chili style diced tomatoes, drained
1 regular size bag original Fritos
1-2 cups shredded cheddar
green onions or onions for topping pie
jalapeño slices (fresh or jarred) - optional

Preheat oven to 350.
Brown your meat in a skillet, breaking it up into fine chunks as you go. When completely cooked, drain off grease. Add in all the other ingredients except Fritos, cheese, and toppings.
Stir it all up and let it simmer about 10 minutes to blend flavors, or cook longer if you have time. Add your fritos to the bottom of a large glass baking dish. Top fritos with your chili mixture, then add desired toppings like onions and cheese.
Bake just until cheese is melted to desired rate, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately, before your fritos get too soggy.

We served this meal with a salad, which I forgot to take a picture of. These pics are also pretty lame since I just grabbed my small camera for a quick shot instead of dragging out the Rebel. I never manage to make casseroles look pretty in pictures anyways.

I pretty much liked the recipe as is (with green onions instead of regular and no jalapeños), but husband thought the amount of beans could be lowered some (and of course, he added more cayenne and habanero pepper flakes to his side in addition to the onions and jalapeños). Also, we would make a smaller amount next time or just reserve some of the chips and chili separately, since this was a huge amount for 2 people and this is not a great meal for leftovers.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Christi's Coconut Macaroons

I don't make coconut macaroons very often, but when I do, I pretty much go crazy over them. I really really like them. Unfortunately, it had been so long since I made them, I misplaced the recipe I had come up with, so I sort of winged it this time, although I think I remembered it for the most part. I didn't measure everything, so these are estimates.. mostly I think coconut macaroons are so good, they are hard to mess up! There are simpler recipes out there, but as usual, I started out combining some and then made my own changes.

I made 3 varieties this time. Plain, with chocolate chips and slivered almonds, and with chocolate chips and caramel bits. All 3 were yummy!

Christi's Coconut Macaroons

1 bag sweetened shredded coconut (14oz)
4 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (about 7 oz)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sugar free coconut syrup (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut cake mix

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
If you only have one mixing bowl for your mixer, use another large bowl to mix together all of the ingredients except for egg whites and salt.
Once that is thoroughly mixed, put the egg whites and salt in another bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Then fold egg white mixture gently into the coconut mixture.
Once everything is held together fairly well, scoop out small spoons of batter and drop an inch apart onto cookie sheet. If you like, add nuts, chocolate chips, caramel bits, or other ingredients to the batter.
Bake for about 15-18 minutes until coconut is lightly toasted on top.