WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Brrr, it’s chili! October 27, 2010

Filed under: Beef,Crockpot,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 10:04 am

Hi kids!  So it’s the end of October, and it’s starting to get cold outside.  I’m not ready for this!!  We’ve heard that winter in MN is really scaaary!!  Waaa!!  About all I can do is make a nice, hot meal, and everyone likes chili, right?  And everyone has their own way to make it.  I’ve always made it the way my mom makes it, and there’s not really a recipe.  Like meatloaf, I usually just dump some stuff in until it looks right.  Well, here’s my attempt at trying to remember what was in our chili!  Please excuse the dark picture – this was a reheated bowl that Wayne had, and he did not have the patience for my photoshoot. 

My mom’s “recipe” – sort of – combined with Wayne’s additions


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped (this is Wayne’s addition)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can hot chili beans
  • 1 can light red kidney beans
  • 1 packet chili seasoning mix
  • 1 small can mushrooms (another one of Wayne’s additions, much to my dismay)
  • seasonings to doctor it up a little – worchestershire, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper
  • you might need to add a little water if the chili is too thick


  1. Saute the meat, onions and peppers in a skillet until meat is cooked and veggies are softened.  Season as desired.
  2. Dump the rest of the ingredients into a crockpot, then add the meat/veggie mixture.
  3. Stir to combine and season as desired.  Let it cook on high for a few hours, then reduce to low.  The longer it cooks, the better is tastes!
  4. Top individual servings with shredded cheddar, crushed crackers, sour cream, hot sauce or other desired toppings.

The charger has arrived! October 25, 2010

Filed under: Holiday,Life — WannaBe Chef @ 6:50 pm

Hi kids!  I got my camera battery charger!  Thanks mommmmy.  However, all I have to share with you today is our pumpkins.  Wayne and I carved these last night.  I will say… carving pumpkins is a lot more work than I ever remember.  Of course, as kids, you’re just carving the standard triangle eyes and three-toothed grin.  We got a little more advanced with ours.  My pumpkin-carving tips:  1.)  Buy more than one set of carving tools – so you don’t have to share, AND in case the knives break… which they did in our case  2.) Scrape those walls down from the inside.. it’s difficult to carve and stay accurate with the details on such a thick-walled pumpkin. 



And together now

Not too shabby!  Do you carve pumpkins?  Any plans for Halloween?  I’m kinda sad I will be missing the big annual Halloween party at my mom’s this year.  Check out this post from last year… we had a ton of fun Halloween food 🙂


Going MIA… October 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — WannaBe Chef @ 1:43 pm

Sorry for disappearing, kids, but we have a slight problem.  Apparently, I left my camera battery charger in Michigan at my mom’s.  So while I await its arrival, the blog will suffer.  Be back soon!


Slop October 20, 2010

Filed under: Mexican-inspired,Turkey — WannaBe Chef @ 9:13 am

I call last night’s dinner slop because there’s no way to get a decent, appetizing picture of it.  This was one of those dinners you just throw together from things already in your fridge, so there’s not really a recipe.  Honestly, these are my favorite kind of dinners to make!

Sloppy picture #1

Mexican Lasagna

  1. Saute some ground turkey (about 1/2 pound) with some chopped onions, black beans (about 1/2 can), and seasonings.  Stir in some salsa.
  2. Grease a small, glass baking dish, then spread some salsa on the bottom of the pan.  Place 2 small, whole wheat tortillas on top of the salsa.  Spoon some of the meat mixture on top of the tortillas, then top with some shredded cheddar.  Repeat this 2 more times.
  3. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is bubbly.
  4. Top with salsa and sour cream.

Sloppy serving pic

It may look like slop, but it tasted really good!


Hoagie October 19, 2010

Filed under: Chicken,Sandwiches — WannaBe Chef @ 10:03 am

Hoagie… isn’t that a strange word?  Well, we had hoagies two nights ago for dinner.  Wayne is out of town again (just overnight this time), and dinner last night was salad and fake chick’n nuggets.  I thought you would all appreciate the hoagie a little more, so here it is – in all it’s yellow-lighted glory!

Chipotle Chicken Cheesesteaks
Clipped from a magazine – possible Cooking Light?


  • 1-2 tsp finely minced chipotle in adobo
  • extra virgin olive oil, for sauteing
  • 12 ounces chicken breast, thinly sliced (I used one giant chicken breast – probably about 6-8 ounces)
  • 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp bottled minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme (I omitted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 hoagie rolls (I made enough for 3 rolls)


  1. Saute the chicken in some EVOO until cooked through.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Saute the peppers, onion, garlic, and thyme in some more EVOO until softened.  Stir in the chipotle, salt, and chicken, stirring frequently. 
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until melted.  Divide mixture evenly over the hoagie rolls. 

Goodbye Natural Light October 18, 2010

Filed under: Appetizer,Pizza — WannaBe Chef @ 7:00 am

Well folks, it’s that time of year again. It’s time we say goodbye to dinners photographed in natural light 😦 I will apologize in advance for my future yellow-light bathed dinners. Onto the first one…  These little puffs were pretty tasty.  You could probably add any kind of pizza topping you wanted, and they would be a great football-watching snack.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs
Clipped from a magazine… possibly Rachael Ray?


  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup chopped pepperoni (I used turkey)
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh basil or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan
  2. In large bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder, then whisk in the egg and milk.  Stir in the cheese and pepperoni, let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the batter again and divide among the mini-muffin cups (fill about 3/4 of the way).  If using dry basil, sprinkle a pinch over each puff.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
  4. If using fresh basil, sprinkle over hot puffs.  Serve puffs with hot pizza sauce for dipping and red pepper strips on the side. 

Snooze October 14, 2010

Filed under: Beverage,Meatless,Potato — WannaBe Chef @ 6:34 pm

Hi friends.  I’m a little grouchy today, mostly because of the morons that “work” at the post office.  I just want my package, ok?!  Is it too much to ask for the carrier to put it in the right mailbox?!  Ugh.  Sorry, just had to get that out.  It’s been pretty boring around here, but Wayne is coming back tomorrow at least.  Dinner last night was anything but blogworthy – it was a massive pancake with walnuts, mini chocolate chips, peanut butter and syrup.  Is your mouth watering now?  So, my son has been especially leechy lately…

I also wanted to share this yummy drink I made the other night.  Into the blender, I dumped some pineapple juice, a couple spoonfuls of coconut milk, a little bit of shredded coconut, a pinch of sugar, and a handful of ice.

Tonight’s dinner was less than exciting, but it tasted so good.  A baked sweet potato topped with black beans, cumin, salt, pepper, fresh salsa and sour cream.