Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tom's Adaptation of Paul Newman's Chili from Chris

Tom's Adaptation of Paul Newman's Chili
Our friend, Chris, made Paul Newman's chili for us one time when we were visiting for dinner.  We liked it very much, so asked for her recipe.  It is an incredibly easy recipe to make.  Just allow for sufficient cooking time for the flavors to really come together.

And of course, not leaving well enough alone, I have modified the recipe, but ever so slightly I think, for the better.

As the snow is coming down here and the outside temperature hovers near zero, a tasty bowl of chili sounds pretty good.  I encourage you to try this no matter the weather conditions.


Paul Newman's Chili

2. T. cooking oil
2 c. onions, diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 green pepper, chopped (Chris uses red)
2 # lean ground beef ( Chris uses venison)
2 c. kidney beans (Chris uses light red - 2 cans)
1 32 ounce Newman's Spaghetti Sauce (Chris uses Sockarooni)
2 -3 c. water - I used one 12oz bottle of beer plus one cup of water instead
2 -3 T. ground chili
1 t. ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 c. chopped celery
1 can corn
1 jalapeno pepper diced
In a cooking pot saute onions, celery, garlic, and pepper in oil over medium-high heat.   This will take about 10 minutes.
Add beef and brown. This will take another 7-10 minutes.
Now add the dry spices: chili powder and cumin.  Stir well.

Next add the jar of Paul Newman's sauce.  I do think the Paul Newman's Sockarooni Sauce is the best choice because it is a bit spicy without being overly so.
Now add the bottle of beer, water and kidney beans and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Taste test, and if necessary add salt and pepper. 
Simmer uncovered for one hour.  Stir frequently.

Now add the corn and simmer 1 hour more uncovered.

Garnish with any combination of sour cream, fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, shredded cheddar cheese and Fritos corn chips.

This is a meat-rich thick chili.  Just great on a cold winter's day. is really good the next day as well as a leftover.



Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Best Brownies Ever" from Penzey's

"Best Brownies Ever" from Penzey's  

I really liked these and will make them again.  They were easy to make and had good texture and flavor.

They aren't trying too hard to be something they are not.     

Best Brownies Ever
(from Michael Zionts and his kids who had their recipe published by Penzey's)

Serves 24

2 sticks butter (1 cup)  -- I used unsalted
2 cups sugar
2 t. vanilla
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 short cup flour (1 cup minus 1 T.)
1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips -- I used dark

Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.  (I use butter to grease the pan and it makes a difference, I think, in taste and release versus PAM)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar.  (Take your time, scrape down the sides and get a homogeneous mixture.)

Add the vanilla and mix until smooth.

Add the eggs and mix well.  (I added mine one at a time and let the mixture build some volume by keeping it at a low speed while I did the next step.)

Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt.

Gradually add to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition.  (I did this by hand, folding the mixture until just mixed.)

Fold in the chocolate chips.  (At this point the mixture was pretty thick.  Smelled great!  Tasted even better.)

Pour into the pan and smooth evenly.

Bake at 350 degrees on the middle rack for about 25 minutes.

Jiggle the pan; if the middle jiggles sloppily, put it back in the oven and bake for another 2-4 minutes.  Keep
doing this until cracks just start to appear and the middle JUST stops jiggling.

Remove the brownies from the oven and let cool.

When I made the brownies, 30 minutes was about right.  Penzey's says theirs took 40.

Just don't over bake them.  Take them out if you are in doubt.

They should be a little gooey on in the inside and have a nice crackled top.


P.S. -- Penzey's is a spice and flavoring company we use for almost all of our spices and vanilla. Their stores are fun to visit. Their website is lacking in style but comprehensive. The quality of their products is excellent.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Two Sips of Zen

New Zealand Stone Towers by Emily Beverly

Along the Lake by Emily Beverly

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce with Basil

Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce with Basil
(shown with sweet sausage)

Why make the effort to make tomato sauce versus opening a jar of store-bought?

Because doing so makes the house smell wonderful  --- and roasting the tomatoes gives them a depth of flavor you just don't get in the jarred kind.

Plus this is SO easy.

All you need it a little extra time --- about 45 minutes longer than it normally takes to make pasta.

Don't skip the anchovies --- you won't taste them in the finished dish --- and be sure to buy high quality tomatoes -- San Marzano are the best.

Roasted Tomato Sauce with Basil (& Sweet Sausage) 
(adapted from the Bon Appetit, Nov 2013 issue)

Serves 4 for dinner or 6-8 as a primi

1 28 ounce can of San Marzano tomatoes
1 can of anchovies in oil
4 T. butter (1/2 stick)
head of fresh garlic, peeled and cloves smashed
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes
pasta of your choice --- bucatini  -- 12 - 16 ounces
fresh basil  (or dried)
1/2 pound ground sweet mild sausage (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a roasting dish (glass or ceramic -- not metal), add the can of tomatoes with their juices then crush them with your hands or a potato masher.  Watch out --- they will squirt all over you if you are not careful.
Cut up the butter in to small pieces and evenly distribute.  Smash the peeled garlic if you haven't already and spread them over the tomatoes.  Add at least 3 anchovies from the tin.  Add salt and pepper.  Sprinkle red pepper flakes --- just a few if you want it mild --- or quite a bit if you like some spice to your sauce.
Roast for 35 minutes then check to see if the garlic is soft and mushy --- if not, continue to roast.  Mine took 45 minutes in total.
Remove from the oven, and carefully smush the mixture together with a potato masher or the back of large spoon.
Brown the sweet sausage if you are using it.  Make sure it is cooked through. (no pink)  Meanwhile, cook your pasta to the al dente stage.
Add the sauce to the skillet.

Add the fresh basil, torn into pieces, (or dried basil)

Add the al dente pasta, which has been drained, to the pan
and toss to coat the pasta with all of the sauce and let it finish cooking for a minute or two.

Twist and place a nice serving in a pasta dish.
At the table, offer Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from Donna

Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Hi Barbara ---

Made these today so I thought I would forward the recipe to you ----another gluten-free recipe.  

Real-Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies

(from  Danielle Walker- Against All Grain)
Serves: 1 Dozen
  • ¼ cup palm shortening or butter
  • ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1½ cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate pieces (just chop up a dark chocolate bar)
  • ¼ cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor, cream the palm shortening, coconut sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla for about 15 seconds until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and sea salt and mix again until combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed in order to incorporate all of the flour. Pulse once or twice more.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
  5. Place golf-ball sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a SilPat. Using another sheet of parchment on top of the dough, flatten them slightly with the palm or your hand or a spatula. The cookies don’t spread much so create the size and thickness you want prior to baking them.
  6. Bake for 9-12 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges
Note from B:

Against All Grain is a website by Danielle Walker filled with delicious looking paleo recipes.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Mediterranean Beef Stew by Tom

"From Uninspired to Pretty Good!"
Mediterranean Beef Stew by Tom

While Barbara painted it was my turn to create dinner.  Knowing that I had dinner meetings a couple of days later in the week, she asked that I make something that would provide leftover meals for her. Usually not a challenging request, but this time I struggled a bit.  We had just had lamb, so that was out.  Chicken was to be cooked later in the week, so also out.  That pretty much left me with either beef, pork or seafood.  Checking our cookbooks, nothing was appealing to me until I got to this recipe from "Simply Stews".

What appealed to me was that it looked different than traditional beef stews, which I like by the way.  This one had, along with the beef, onions, garlic,olives, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.  I was also somewhat intrigued by the seasonings which included dry vermouth and balsamic vinegar.

So to try something different, I offer to you this Mediterranean influenced beef stew.  Not hard to make and pretty good.  In fact we had it for dinner the next day and I think it was even better on day two.  My only addition to the recipe from the cookbook would be to add some salt.  The recipe does not call for it, but it does need it.  Perhaps the olives were to supply that, but mine did not.

Worth a try if you are looking for a different beef stew taste than the traditional.

  --- Tom

Mediterranean Beef Stew
(from Simply Stews by  Susan Wyler)

6-8 servings

2 pounds lean stew meat - I used a sirloin steak which I trimmed and cut into roughly 1" cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions sliced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3/4 cup dry vermouth
1 28-ounce can of Italian diced tomatoes including the juices
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup quartered and pitted Kalamata olives - if you can find them pre-pitted, use that!
1/3 cup sun-dried tomato strips packed in oil
1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, shredded
salt to taste - my addition about 1 teaspoon

Prepare the meat and the onions for sautéing.  Use a heavy flameproof casserole dish with cover.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add half the amount of meat.  Cook until brown, which will take about 5 minutes.
Remove the first batch of meat and repeat with the second batch.  Once browned, remove it to the plate as well.
Next add the sliced onions to the casserole and cook until they turn golden with brown edges.  This will take another 5-7 minutes.
Once done, the onions should look like this.
Now add the dry vermouth.  The pan is hot so be careful to avoid the rapidly rising alcohol steam that is generated.
Cook the vermouth until it is reduced by half.  This will take a couple of minutes.

Next add the diced tomatoes and their juices.  Also add the balsamic vinegar, black pepper, red pepper flakes and 1 1/2 cups of water.

Now add the browned meat and all of the meat juices from the plate.  Stir the whole mixture up.  Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to simmer.  Simmer for at least 1 1/4 hours.  Longer is better.

Now add the Kalamata olives.  Stir this up and cook for another 20-30 minutes.   At the end of this time, test for saltiness.  Mine needed it, so I added about a teaspoon of salt.

Now add the sun-dried tomatoes and simmer for another 5 minutes or so.

Just before you are ready to serve, add the fresh basil.  Stir it into the stew.

The cookbook recipe said to serve this over noodles, polenta or mashed potatoes, but I chose to serve it over rice.  I prepared the rice per the directions but substituted chicken stock for the water. I find using chicken stock adds a rich taste to the rice.

Put a layer of rice in the bottom of a plate or pasta bowl.  Ladle the stew mixture over the rice, and enjoy.  The next day, Barbara added some lemon zest and I added a bit of Worcestershire sauce as I was craving some tamarind flavor.  Don't ask me why!

From an uninspired day came a pretty good meal.  Give this a try.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gluten Free Brownies from Donna

Gluten Free Brownies without Frosting

Donna has been a long-time supporter of Feast Everyday and was one of the first people I knew who went gluten-free and saw the benefits of doing so.

She was also one of the taste testers of the brownie bake-off, prior to being gluten free, so I know she knows a good brownie.

So, I asked her for her gluten free brownie recipe:
Hi Barbara!
It's funny that you asked for the recipe. I just made these last week....again! They are so chocolatey and far my favorite. I will send you a frosting recipe I used too but you definitely can make these without frosting them ---as they are rich as is:)  
--- Donna  
P.S.  I use Almond Flour
Primal Palate's Grain-Free Fudgy Brownies
(from Primal Palate

Serves: 24



  1. Preheat the oven to bake at 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9"x13" glass baking dish with butter or palm shortening, and line with parchment paper for easy removal of the brownies.
  3. Melt the dark chocolate and the butter over medium low heat, while stirring frequently.
  4. Add the coconut sugar and the vanilla to the chocolate and butter, and stir until smooth.
  5. Remove the mixture from the heat, and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Blend the eggs, chestnut flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl.
  7. Once the chocolate mixture is cool, pour into the flour mixture, and blend until smooth.
  8. Pour the batter into the oiled and parchment lined 9"x13" baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle the top of the brownies with chocolate chips before baking if desired.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
  11. Allow the brownies to cool completely before frosting.
 Here's the frosting recipe for the brownies if you choose they need it:) 

Primal Palate's Fluffy Chocolate Frosting
(from Primal Palate Fluffy Chocolate Frosting)



  1. Heat the coconut cream over medium heat until scalded.
  2. Pour the scalded cream over the dark chocolate chips, and stir until smooth and creamy.
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until it's cool.
  5. Beat the frosting with a hand mixer until whipped and fluffy. Spread on your favorite brownies!

Note from B:  I made these over the weekend and used almond flour -- which I found at Wegman's in the gluten free section.  
Here's how it looks when you are baking:
It is softer than regular flour.  And you could definitely taste an almond background note in the brownie --- and that is a good thing.  

P.P.S.  I put all the links to Primal Palate in the recipe section so you can check out their extensive website if you are interested in their recommended healthy eating ingredients and recipes.  It is a beautifully done website.  


Monday, February 10, 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Smiley Face in My Soup

Smiley Face in my Soup

Yesterday, over lunch, I was contemplating how to go about starting something new for Feast Everyday. 

I was trying to think up a title for the new idea:  A Sip of Zen?  A Taste of Zen?  10 second Getaway?  Feast for the Eyes?

My idea is to post a photo instead of a recipe every so often.

As a treat --- like a bite of delicious chocolate.

Or a sip of calming tea.

As antidote to all the stress going on in our lives.

To remind us to take the time to look at the little things around us everyday and appreciate them.

Because that is the basis of Feast Everyday -- to invest in ourselves every day not just on special occasions.

Plus my niece, Emily, has a portfolio of wonderful photos she has taken which deserve to be seen.

And so do many of my other family members and friends.

Then, a smiley face appeared in my soup --- and I said -- just do it!

It's a sign.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper Pasta) by Colleen

Cacio e Pepe (Cheese and Pepper Pasta)

Note from B:  Colleen sent me this recipe last year, and we finally made it last night -- so easy! ---so I took photos --- and it was just like we remembered it tasting when we tried it last September in Rome based on Colleen's recommendation.

Okay, so this is a dish that is reaching critical mass all of sudden in our area. I had never heard of it before we went to Rome and now I'm seeing it everywhere.

So I'm in the process of making it tonight but it is one of those maddening recipes that is very simple: pasta, cheese, pepper, olive oil, except NO ONE can agree on amounts or whether you should also include butter with the olive oil when you toast the cracked pepper and quantities and types of cheese. Which means that whatever you can make work is probably just fine. Every Italian Nonni probably had her own version.

Have you had this dish?

We had it at the restaurant in Rome that we went to with our friends. Among other things. But the Cacio e Pepe was really really good.


Cacio e Pepe  (Cheese and Pepper Pasta)

3 teaspoons freshly cracked pepper (use less if you don't want it really spicy - see note*)
1- 1 1/2 cups pecorino romano (finely grated)
1/2 cup grana padana or Parmesan, grated (Some recipes reverse the quantities of cheese, favoring the Parmesan over the pecorino. I don't think it much matters. Use what you have!)
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
3 Tablespoons of butter
1 1b box of pasta (spaghetti, bucatini, thin linguine)

Saute the cracked pepper in the olive oil and butter for a few minutes in a large saute/skillet pan. Set aside.

Heavily salt the water and bring to boil. Cook the pasta to just al dente - don't over cook because you will still be cooking the pasta in the sauce.
Remove the pasta from the water and toss with the pepper and oil. You don't need to drain. Just get tongs and lift it out and add directly to the pan.

Add in the cheeses and toss, ladling in hot pasta water from the pot as needed make the sauce creamy.

You may need to add quite a a bit of water - the more cheese you use, the more water you'll need. (Some recipes use very little cheese, others quite a bit. It seems to be all down to personal preference.)

Serve immediately. Should serve 4.

*Note: With this amount of pepper, the dish is quite spicy. I liked it, but you could easily saute half the amount of pepper, and serve the rest of the cracked pepper at the table for people to season the dish to individual taste.

You might want to solicit variations from other FE folks. Like I said before, there are as many versions of this as there are grandmothers in Italy.