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Slow-Cooked Fajita Chicken Chili

Posted by on Nov 4, 2011 in Come Together | 0 comments

It’s Chili Cook-off time at work places across America. Last Friday, I competed with 10 of my fellows for the title of Best Chili in the Land. Sadly, I didn’t place, but I had a whole bunch of fun making it and consorting with my coaches, K & M. They insisted on a white chili, and I recently whipped up a tasty version on accident after work one day that I thought might take the crown (no dice). Guess which chili won? A white chili with ground turkey (they were on to something). It was delish with the recommended accouterments – Greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Congrats to all of the winners!

Here’s my version. Coach K called it pungent, and it is. It’s very flavorful, with just the right amount of kick.

1 1/2 cup fajita chicken
2 T olive oil
1 can each pinto beans and white beans (Northern, cannellini), drained and rinsed
1 cup water (or to desired consistency)
1 small can diced green chilis
1 T fajita seasoning
1 t cumin
1 t salt
1/2 t black pepper

On medium heat, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add remaining ingredients. Let it chill out on med-low, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. If you want to thicken it a little at the end, add 1-2 T of flour. Enjoy!

Great with sour cream on top with chopped onions or green onions on top.

Bonus: Last year, I dressed my crockpot up in a costume. I was working at cabedge at the time, and they have a toilet-themed cook-off. What does that mean? Prizes are toilet-topped trophies and bedazzled toilet seats, and golden thrones grace the invitation to compete. So, naturally, my crockpot needed a toilet costume. What? You don’t have costumes for your crockpot? Photographic evidence:

Fajita Chicken

Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 in Everyone Will Eat It, Kitchen Tools, Try Something New | 0 comments

Say you make the Veggie Fajitas from yesterday, but you live with carnivores. Make Fajita Chicken!

This chicken is so easy, and it’s quite tasty. All you need is a little time.

Take 3 or so chicken breasts (1.5 – 2 lbs) and lay them out horizontally in front of you on a cutting board. Cut strips vertically every 1.5 inches. The width of your strips will determine the length of your shred later on. Bust out the crockpot and load in the chicken for the adventure. Add 2 cups or so of water or chicken broth (just enough to cover the chicken), 3 T white vinegar (for tenderness, baby), and 3 T fajita seasoning. Season with S&P. Add some garlic (3 cloves, finely chopped) and onion (1 medium, chopped), if it floats your boat. Cook on low for 3 hours.

Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid. On a dinner plate or in a glass cooking dish (like a Pyrex) or on your countertop, take two forks and shred the chicken. Or (this is the best thing ever!!!)…stick the chicken in the bowl of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the paddle attachment and turn it on low. Turn it up a notch or two once it gets going. Ta da! Shredded chicken in 30 seconds. (Disclaimer: this is not my idea, but I don’t remember where I read it. I think I saw it on Pinterest. They are a genius though! It works great!)

Now, the cooking liquid can be reduced on the stove top for a tasty sauce. Or you can store your shredded chicken in it to increase the flavor. Make a double batch and freeze in 1.5 cup portions in plastic bags.

A note on the domestic arts

Posted by on Nov 2, 2011 in On the Basics | 0 comments

Something clicked with me this morning in regards to domestic arts. Yes, it’s an art (and a science). It doesn’t look the same as it once did, but it hasn’t gone anywhere.

Last weekend, I hung out with a woman with a Home Economics degree. It’s not something you hear all the time, and it seems like the discipline is nearly dried up in schools. Sure, high schools still offer “Foods” (aka “learn how to feed yourself, kid”) and “Textiles” (aka “learn how to sew PJ pants”), but there isn’t a full curriculum like there used to be. Also, I doubt it’s offered in the same format as it once was in colleges, and I’d bet you’d be hard-pressed to find an entire degree devoted to the topic. Home ec just isn’t “in” on the higher education scene these days.

However, domestic arts are still alive and kicking. And it’s not a lady-only thing anymore. Though some people prefer the term House Manager instead of homemaker. Keeping a household running smoothly, whatever you call it, is hard work. The “education” is now found in blog posts. There are cooking blogs, homemaking blogs, etiquette blogs, and everything in between…how to sew/craft/make this and how to clean/scrub/refresh that. We’re self-educating and sharing what we know. It’s a community thing, and I think it’s pretty cool.

Also, can I make one clarification…people are DOMESTIC; animals are domesticated. Thank you!

 

Veggie Fajitas

Posted by on Nov 2, 2011 in Try Something New | 2 comments

I made these easy and delicious veggie fajitas with a homemade mix of fajita seasoning. For the seasoning, mix up 2 parts of this “list” chili powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano or Italian seasoning and 1 part red pepper flakes. If you’re measuring for one recipe, 1/2 t of the list + 1/4 t red pepper flakes is a good amount. Or you can make the seasoning in bulk, 2 T of each on the list + 1 T of the red pepper flakes. Then measure out about a tablespoon of the mix per recipe.

For the veggie fajitas, add the following to a skillet (cast-iron would work great for this) with 3 T olive oil.

1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper (red or green), sliced
1 small can chopped green chilis

Add the seasonings and let the first round of veggies cook and soften for at least 10 minutes.

Add 1 T of oil, 1 T of lemon juice, 1 lb container baby bellas (rinsed and thinly sliced), and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes. Cook for another 5 minutes to incorporate the seasoning.

Serve on tortilla with your favorite fajita toppings…shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, etc.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever veggies you have on hand in whatever amounts suit your tastes.

Cilantro!

Dinner

Posted by on Oct 31, 2011 in Around Chez Ary | 2 comments

On Saturday night, we attended a Vamparty. It was vampire themed, get it? I went as dinner.

My name tag to give a clue about what the heck I was dressed up as.

I wore a blood donation shirt. I give in real life. So does my dad. He’s given his whole adult life every time he was eligible. He’s given 10 gallons. That’s kind of a big deal. He got a plaque for it.

Somebody’s been snackin’ already.

A smokey eye and falsies are an important component of this costume.

Mr. J was a country hick vampire. He had a mullet. He was cracking me up all night.

I’m going as a jazzercizer to work today. I’ll post photos of that costume, too. Maybe.