4 Ingredient Chili

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

I really do try to incorporate more organic foods into our diet.  I try to avoid things that have preservatives and artificial ingredients.

But, just like how there are some days that I’ll finish off half a box of Cheez-Its in one sitting, there are days when I need something super simple to cook.

This recipe qualifies as “super simple” for a few reasons:

It takes 5 minutes to make.

There are only 4 ingredients (plus a few spices – but these are optional)

It only uses one pan.

All of the ingredients are waiting for me in the pantry, except for the meat, which I usually keep on hand in the freezer.

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

See?  Four ingredients.

Beans (with sauce), tomato sauce, seasoning mix, and meat.

And like I said, the first 3 things are easy to stock up on and have sitting in the pantry.

I usually have either ground turkey or beef on hand, either in the fridge or freezer, so I find that I often have everything to make this dish.

I do like to add a few extra spices, but those are also always in the pantry.

And I like to add some shredded cheese and sour cream to the top, but those are usually in my fridge too, and if not, well, they’re also optional.  Just tasty.  I like the contrast of the sour cream against the spicy chili.

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

I like spicy food.

My kids have been eating spicy food forever, so they like it, too.

BUT, if you’re not into spice, feel free to cut out the cayenne, or even all of the extra spices, if you prefer.

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

I mix the spices into the raw meat just as it’s starting to cook because it helps infuse the meat with a nice flavor.

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

Here it is all mixed together.

Essentially, after browning the meat, you’re just dumping everything into one pan.  How cool is that?

4 Ingredient Chili Recipe

Doesn’t that look delicious?

4 Ingredient Chili

Ingredients:

1 (16 oz.) can Chili beans in sauce
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (1.25 oz.) package chili seasoning mix
16 oz. ground turkey or beef

Optional Extra Spices:

1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Ancho Chile pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Optional Toppings:

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream

In a large, deep saucepan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add ground turkey. If using the optional extra spices, sprinkle them evenly over the meat while still raw and mix them in. Cook the meat until browned. Drain the fat from the pan and return it to the stovetop.

Sprinkle the chili seasoning mix over the meat and mix it in. Stir in the chili beans in sauce and tomato sauce until fully combined.

Bring to a simmer over medium heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes to heat through. You can serve it now, or turn the stove to low and let the chili cook for an hour, covered, to allow the flavors to develop. Stir occasionally.

Serve with shredded cheese and cream cheese, if desired.

********

And to get the free printable PDF, click here:  4 Ingredient Chili

Roaming Rosie Signature

Painting Birdhouses With The Kids

painting birdhouses

My kids were SO excited about this project.

I hadn’t realized that picking up a couple of $1 wooden birdhouses at the store could make a day so very eventful.

It was pretty awesome.

Anyway, the reason we even went looking for birdhouses was because of this book that was given to us by a neighbor:

Birds First Discovery Book

This First Discovery book about Birds was something I thought looked kind of fun, but I wasn’t sure how my kids would respond to it.

Surprisingly, it’s been requested over and over again at bedtime.

Even though it’s a learning book and not a story book, both my 4yo and 2yo enjoy reading it.

This is partially because they love all kinds of books where they get to discover things (the 4yo often requests a book that spells out the life cycle of butterflies) but also because of the fun way they allow kids to “discover” the facts about their subject matter.

This series of books includes transparent pages.

The transparent pages are printed with pictures on both sides and “hide” part of the page that’s underneath it.  When you turn the page it reveals the hidden image.

My daughter calls these the “puzzle pages.”

And, from looking at the pictures of others in the series on the back cover, she’s already ardently requested that we get the ladybug book.

Thus, a ladybug and a dinosaur book are in a box on the way to my house right now.  And I will be buying more in the future.

If you think your kids would love this kind of interactive learning, too, here are a few others in the series for you to view:

Do you own any of these books already? Which are your kids’ favorites? Your favorite?

Roaming Rosie Signature

Easy Flatbread Pizzas

Easy Flatbread Pizzas

This was one of those easy lunch [or dinner] ideas that I just had to share.

My mother has a tendency to stock up on things at Publix when they’re Buy One Get One.  So I sometimes have things, like Nature’s Own Sandwich Rounds, that I wouldn’t otherwise ordinarily have in the pantry.  Since we don’t eat a lot of sandwiches (bread and meat and cheese, yes, just not in sandwich form for some reason…), I needed to find something to make with them.

I decided to go with pizza.

Which is always a good choice.

For this pizza, I grabbed the Sandwich Rounds, a can of tomato sauce, grated Parmesan, shredded Mozzarella, and some salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Easy Flatbread Pizzas

The first time I made this, I didn’t toast the Sandwich Rounds.

But the sauce made them slightly soggy.  Toasting them before baking fixed that.

So don’t forget to give them a quick toast while you’re grabbing the other ingredients.

Easy Flatbread Pizzas

Anyway, throw some Rounds on a baking pan and spread on some tomato sauce.

Then sprinkle on some salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

Next, shake on some Parmesan and, finally, top with Mozzarella.

If you’re going to throw anything else on top, like meat or veggies, make sure they’re at least partially cooked, because these really don’t take very long.

Easy Flatbread Pizzas

I put these flatbread pizzas in the convection oven at 350 degrees F until the cheese was melted and slightly browned.

Depending on your oven, this should take about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

The Outlander Attraction

 

STARZ Outlander television series

I had heard of the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon a while ago and had even put the books on my {rather long} wishlist of books to read.

I hadn’t gotten around to reading them yet, but I was excited when I found a free preview of the STARZ series based on the books.

{You can find the first episode at Starz.com/videos.}

And now that I’ve watched it, I feel that I really, really, really need to read the books.  Now.

Why?  What’s the appeal for me?

First of all, I love historical novels.  Because they’re different.  It’s the same reason I love Sci-Fi.  I don’t live in a spaceship any more than I live in Scotland in the 1940s or the 1740s.  So reading books like this lets me experience things I wouldn’t get to experience in my own life.

Like time travel.  And having two lovers living in two different centuries.

I don’t expect that to happen in my lifetime.

{Although I wouldn’t mind a steamy affair with a Scottish warrior…}

And I loved seeing the story made into a television show.  Aside from the gorgeous backdrop of a fascinating country and culture, I was also drawn to her wardrobe.

What can I say?  I love travel and adventure, but I love a pretty dress, too.

Anywho, here are the first few books in the series, in case you haven’t seen them yet:

Outlander by Diana GabaldonDragonfly in Amber (Outlander) by Diana GabaldonVoyager (Outlander) by Diana Gabaldon

And you can find more at Diana Gabaldon’s Amazon page.

If you’ve read the books, please let me know what you think!  I know there are a ton of fans out there, and I’d love to know what draws you to the series.

Roaming Rosie Signature

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

It’s been awhile since I’ve made these, so I had to come up with an excuse for needing them again.

Luckily, there was a potluck party this weekend.

I used that.

But these crumb cake-like, cream cheesy bars don’t really demand an excuse.  They work great even for a random weeknight dessert.

Especially since they’re so easy to make.

{If you keep up with my blog, you know easy=awesome in my book.}

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Anyway, these bars start with a cake mix.

And you could probably use real lemon juice/zest, but I’ve only tried it with the extract.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Once you make the cake mix batter that serves as both the crust of the bars and as the crumb topping, you’ll need to set aside a cup of it.

That cup of crumbs will go on top.

What you’re left with won’t look like enough to cover the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish – but it will.

It rises as it bakes, so it’s okay that it’s really thin.

Just go ahead and press it out to cover the entire bottom.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Here it is with the yummy cream cheese mixture spread over the cake crust.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

And here it is with the cake-ish crumbs sprinkled over the top, just before baking.

Be careful not to let the edges brown too much.  The finished bars should still look a little moist in the center.

But even if the edges cook a little too much, you can always slice them off when cutting the bars to serve.  And, you know, throw them in a bowl and devour them by the forkful when your kids aren’t watching.

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients:

1 box (18 oz.) yellow cake mix
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, separated
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, one egg, and the oil until it reaches a crumbly consistency.

In a medium bowl, use a mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the remaining egg, sugar, and lemon extract and continue beating until fully incorporated.

Reserve one cup of the cake mix batter, and press the remaining batter into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. It will be thin.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cake mix batter.

Sprinkle the reserved cake mix batter over the cream cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are just golden brown.

Cool completely before cutting.

************

To PRINT your free PDF of this recipe click here:  Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

These are amazing.

Even though I probably said that about the Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies, too.  But that’s only because it’s true.

I developed this recipe when I made the Bunny cookies because I wanted to incorporate cream cheese into both the cookie itself and the icing.  And the results were sooooooooooo good.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Above are most of the ingredients.  Just add a little confectionery sugar and vanilla extract for the icing, and that’s all you need.

Simple, right?

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

When you cream together the butter, cream cheese, and egg for the cookie dough, it should look nice and creamy like this.

Then mix in the cake mix and extra flour.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

It’s a soft dough, so you’ll need to refrigerate it before rolling it out.

And if it’s still a little too soft to handle, just knead in a bit of flour.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Sprinkle some flour over your counter generously before rolling out the dough.

And be sure to keep the dough a little thick.  The cookies need to be thick and just-ever-so-slightly undercooked so that you can bite through them and the icing without the icing squirting out all over the place.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Once the cookies are cool, you can add the icing.

I usually make the icing while the cookies are cooling.

Then I like to add a little decoration to the top with some melted chocolate.  I used Wilton’s Bright White Candy Melts here to mimic the shape of the cookies.

Ain’t they just adorable??

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:

1 box (16.5 oz.) strawberry cake mix
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg

In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add egg and vanilla and blend until fluffy.

Slowly sprinkle in the cake mix and flour and blend until combined.

Shape cookie dough into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a half hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. (If you want to make a sandwich cookie with a cutter that is not symmetrical, then make sure you cut out an equal number of matching cookies, using both sides of the cookie cutter.)

Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your cookies. They should not yet be noticeably browning on the edges. Do not overcook them or your sandwiches will be difficult to eat.

Allow cookies to rest on the hot pan for a few minutes, then remove to cooling racks. Cool cookies completely before adding icing.

Icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners sugar
White chocolate chips or candy melts (optional)

With a mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the vanilla. Add in the sugar a half cup at a time, blending well.

Put icing in a decorating bag or a baggy with the corner cut off, and squeeze it onto the bottoms of half of the cooled cookies. Place another cookie on top of the icing and press down gently.

If desired, melt some white chocolate chips to draw a pattern on top of the cookie.

************

To PRINT the free PDF, click here:  Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich Cookies

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Feeling the Heat

Me on a hot day funny dog in fridge

Me on a hot day?

Yeah.  Pretty much.

I know they’ve got some “dry” heat going on over in the west, but when the Floridian humidity sticks to you, sometimes the only way to get relief is to attempt to encase yourself in the freezer.

Thanks to The Chive for the photo.

And be sure to follow me on Facebook at Roaming Rosie Remix to get glimpses of my deranged, and occasionally grammatically correct, sense of humor!

Roaming Rosie Signature