Quick & Easy Taco Chili

This is for my new friends in St. Louis that attended the “Cooking with the Experts” at Schnucks Headquarters last week.  What a GREAT group you were and a joy to instruct and present to.  I look forward to doing it again next year!  Enjoy!

Taco Chili

Taco Chili

Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
1 lb. ground chuck or ground turkey
2 tablespoons corn oil
½ medium size onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
⅓ cup Spice Islands® Taco Seasoning Mix
2 (14.5 ounce) can Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 to 1 ½ cups beef stock
1 (15.5 ounce) can red kidney beans

Garnish:
Chopped Scallions
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Sour Cream
In a medium sized stock pot, over high heat, brown ground beef or turkey in small batches, removing cooked meat with a slotted spoon (do not overcrowd the pan).

Add corn oil to pan and let heat through. Add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Serve in a warm bread bowl (if desired) and garnish with chopped scallions, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Buon Appetito!


2015 Galena’s Cucina Calendars

Just in time for the holidays, the perfect gift for that “foodie” in your life.  Monthly recipes along with beautiful photos.  Now available for ordering, first 25 orders will receive a free recipe collection. Special price of $12.95 plus shipping and handling.

Deliveries will be available after November 20, 2014.  Click on the “Order Form” to place your order.

Order Form

Galena's Cucina 2015 Calendars

Galena’s Cucina 2015 Calendars


Spooky Sweets & Treats for Halloween

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghoulish Ghosts

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghoulish Ghosts

White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghoulish Ghosts

1 (16-ounce) package fresh strawberries
6 ounces vanilla bark coating
¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

To melt chocolate bark:
Chop chocolate into small pieces. Place in a small glass or stainless steel bowl. Place bowl in a saucepan with 2 inches of water in it. Over medium high heat, stir chocolate until melted. Remove pan from stove.

Working rapidly, dip strawberries into chocolate covering ½ of the berries surface. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze 5-10 minutes.

In a small microwavable bowl, add remaining chocolate chips. Heat chips in microwave until melted and smooth, about 10-15 seconds. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each ghost.

Snakebite Bread

1 Package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Country White Bread Mix
1 cup 115° – 120° water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
2 to 3 drops liquid green food coloring
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1 small pimento-stuffed green olive
2 whole cloves
1 (1-inch long) strip roasted red bell pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a cooking pan with pan spray.

Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape bread into a 16-18 inch log. Pinch one end of the log to form a tail shape. Form the other end into a head shape. Transfer the log onto prepared baking sheet. Cure the log into an S-shape.

Whisk together the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Add 2-3 drops of green food coloring to egg wash. Brush the surface of the dough with the green egg wash. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the dough.

Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese has turned golden brown. Transfer the baked bread onto a wire rack to cool.

Cut the olives in half widthwise to form two eyes. Attach the eyes to the head of the snake with toothpicks. Use the whole cloves to make the snake’s nostrils. Cut the strip of pepper into a forked tongue. Place the snake on a serving platter or large cutting board. Position the tongue just under the head.

Use a serrated knife to cut the snake into slices; serve warm or at room temperature.

Halloween Treats

Halloween Treats

Spider Web Guacamole Dip

3 fresh avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely diced
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced, divided
1-2cups shredded lettuce
¼ cup chopped black olives
½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
½ cup sour cream
1 bag tortilla chips

In a medium mixing bowl, place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Add the salt, pepper, and oil and using a potato masher, mash. Then, fold in the onions, garlic, 1 chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños. If not using right away, add the seed of the avocado to help prevent browning of the guacamole.

In a large serving tray spread the edges with shredded lettuce, black olives, remaining 2 tomatoes, and Mexican cheese blend. Place guacamole in center of tray.

Place sour cream in a quart size ziplock bag. Cut the corner off. Squeeze sour cream on top of guacamole in several concentric circles. You can either use ziplock bag to pipe on the rest of the sour cream to form web or you can use a knife and run lines lightly through the sour cream circles to make the web shape. Place a creep spider on the web. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.

Green Ghoul Punch

½ (12-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 liter ginger ale
1 pint lime sherbet
gummy worms or gummy spiders, frozen
dry ice cubes, about 2 pounds

Pour the limeade concentrate and gingerly in a large, clear glass, punch bowl. Stir it gently to combine. Add lime sherbet, gummy worms and dry ice. Replace dry ice as smoke disappears.

Bloody Glasses

¼ cup KARO® Corn Syrup
3-4 drops red food coloring

Combine above ingredients. Dip rim of cup into syrup, dripping syrup will resemble
blood.

Happy Halloween and Buon Appetite!


Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Okay, so I didn’t come up with this idea, but that’s the POWER of the internet…I did, however, made it my own….so easy with a few little tricks.

In a large mixing bowl add 1 box bread mix, yeast package, ½ cup canned pumpkin, 2 tablespoons melted butter and ½ cup warm water.  Mix until well combined.  Knead dough 4-5 minutes.  Place bread back into the mixing bowl and cover with a cloth towel.   Place in a warm spot for 45-60 minutes (or longer if you have time).

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet.

12 rolls

12 equal pieces rolled into a ball

Using a pair of scissors, make 6-8 cuts along sides, leaving the center intact.  Poke your finger into the center of the roll.

6-8 Cuts

6-8 Cuts

Whisk 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of water, brush over rolls.

Egg wash rolls

Egg wash rolls

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven, 20 minutes.  Remove rolls from oven and place on a wire rack.  Mix 2 tablespoons of melted butter with 1 tablespoon of honey and brush over hot rolls.  Place ½ pecan piece in center of roll.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

1 Package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Country White Bread Mix
½ cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup water, 115-120°F
1 egg

Honey Glaze:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl combine bread mix, yeast (included with the mix), pumpkin, and butter. Add water, mix until well combined. Knead dough 4-5 minutes. Place bread back into the mixing bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.  Place bowl in a warm spot for 45 minutes, or longer if time permits  (dough will not double in size).

Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Using a scissors, give 6 cuts on the edge to mimic flower petals but leave the center uncut. Poke the center with your finger to give a deep indentation, and repeat the same procedure to the 11 remaining pieces.

Place prepared mini pumpkins on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or spray with pan spray. Let the rolls rise another 10 minutes.

Mix egg with 1 teaspoon of water and brush over rolls. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown.

Remove rolls from pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Brush rolls with honey butter and insert a pecan piece on top to mimic a pumpkin stem.

Buon Appetito!!!



Welcome to Galena’s Cucina

Yummy Yellow Cake

Recipes can be found on my blog and in “Cookin’ For a Livin’”.Cookin' For a Livin'


Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bars

I just love the month of October…the cool evenings, the changes in the leaves, football season, and of course, National Pizza Month.  Other changes that occur during this month are our choices in food.  We are now thinking more comfort foods, crockpot recipes, stews and chili, as well as pumpkin pie, apple pie and of course the true southern favorite, pecan pie!

Yesterday I brought my version of pecan pie bars to my spin class (I just love tempting my students with yummy treats to work a little harder).  My members loved them and asked for the recipe.  Well, here you go, and I know you will all enjoy this easy sweet dessert.

Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bars

Crust:
2 ½  cups all purpose flour
1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened
⅓ cup powdered sugar

Filling:
4 eggs
1 ⅓ cups sugar
1 ½ cups Karo® Light Corn Syrup
1 ½ teaspoons Spice Islands® Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ½ teaspoons Spice Islands® Pure Vanilla Extract
2 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecan

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl mix flour, butter and powered sugar with a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Press firmly and evenly into a greased baking sheet (15 x 10-inch).

Bake crust 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.

While crust is baking beat eggs, sugar, corn syrup, pumpkin pie spice, butter and vanilla in a large bowl until well combined.  Stir in pecans.  Pour over hot crust spreading evenly.

Bake 25 minutes (at 350°F).  Cool completely on wire rack before cutting into pieces.

Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bars

Pumpkin Pie Pecan Bars

Buon Appetito!