Butter Pecan Cookies

This Butter Pecan Cookie is a light flaky crispy cookie and is perfect to complete the Christmas cookie platter, or to bring to any family or even non family gathering.  It will be uniquely yours.  It will never look exactly like anyone else’s cookie platter.

I remember as a child the cookies that were always baked right before Christmas. Those buttery, crispy, pecan cookie from years past.  This cookie is perfect by itself or dipped in a cup of hot chocolate, or in my case a cup of creamy hot coffee.

This Butter Pecan Cookie is a light flaky crispy cookie and is perfect to complete the Christmas cookie platter, or to bring to any family gathering.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare the cookie sheet, I line the sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick stray.

Ingredients:
2 sticks/ 1 cup butter, softened
1 cup canola oil
1 cup regular sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
2 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract or paste ( you can also use pecan flavoring)
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups pecans, chopped
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Additional ingredients used for decorating the cooled cookies
1 cup dark chocolate chips melted with 1 tsp coconut oil ( I microwave 15 seconds, stir, 15 seconds, etc. until melted)
1 cup  pecans, finely chopped
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In mixing bowl, beat butter and oil for 1-2 minutes. Add regular sugar, beat, add powdered sugar, beat.
Add eggs one at a time, beat between adding eggs.
Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients about 1 cup at a time.
Beat between additions.
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The choice is yours to either cook the cookies now or refrigerate first.  If you need them right away simply use a scoop or spoon, grab some dough, roll them in a ball, roll in some regular sugar, or not, up to you and place on the cookie sheet, squish down with a flat bottom cup until they are about 1/4 ” thick.  This will most likely create the most uniform cookies.
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Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes, take out of oven, they should have a slightly golden tint around the bottom edges.  Let cool for 1-2 minutes before you take off the pan.
Let cool completely before you either sprinkle the chocolate out of a plastic bag with a tiny little hole cut into the corner or just spoon chocolate over one end and then sprinkle chopped nuts onto the chocolate.
This Butter Pecan Cookie is a light flaky crispy cookie and is perfect to complete the Christmas cookie platter, or to bring to any family gathering.

If you don’t have the time to cook all the cookies, feel free to get a piece of plastic wrap and roll the dough into a log.  Refrigerate for up to 3 days.  These are great as slice a bake cookie.  They do take a few more minutes to bake-most likely 14-16 minutes.

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies- kind of depends on the size of the cookies you make.

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Nutty Baklava

Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.

MeasuringSunshine-Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.

Homemade baklava  is so much better than store bought in my book.  You have so many choices in the ingredients you can put in the baklava.  You can use your favorite nut, I have used walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts.  The type of honey, type of cinnamon or other  spices.

You will need:

9×13 baking pan
1 package of frozen filo dough-defrost in refrigerator 2 days before making baklava
1 lb. of nuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, or pretty much any other nut you would like to use.(chopped finely)
1 cup melted butter give or take- have extra butter on hand if needed
1 Tbsp of cinnamon, and any other spices you might want to add. (I will also use fresh nutmeg, powdered clove, you can also use pumpkin pie spice)
Honey syrup- recipe follows

Syrup ingredients:
1 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp of cinnamon

Bring to boil ,lower temperature and simmer for 15 min. Stir during cooking process.  After the 15 minutes turn off heat and let cool.

To put together the baklava:
Brush bottom of 9 x 13 pan with some of the melted butter.  Add layer of filo, brush with butter, add layer of filo, brush with butter, do this 4 more times.  Add layer of chopped nuts and cinnamon.  Add 5-6 more layers of the filo brushed with the melted butter.
When you have used all the nuts and cinnamon- add 7-8 layers of the butter filo to finish off the top.

Put pan into freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Pull pan from freezer, get a very sharp knife and cut long diagonal cuts through the dough.  When you have completed the cuts it will look like a pan of diamonds.
Bake for about 1 hour- it will look nice a golden color.
Take out of oven.  Pour syrup gently over the top of the baklava.  I normally pour about half and wait 5-10 minutes and then pour the remaining syrup over the top.

NuttyBaklava-MeasurningSunshine-Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.  You have so many choices in the ingredients you can put into it.

Tips:

Make sure filo is completely thawed.
Keep filo covered with damp towel while working with it.
Either precut filo to fit the pan or just fold the filo to fit. ( this is what I do- just adds additional layers of buttery filo.)
Freezing pan after layering will help to firm up the layers before you cut them- this is not required.
Let sit for several hours for syrup to soak it completing and baklava is cooled.
Some people leave baklava out for several days, I however, will usually store covered in the refrigerator.

Easy Potato Salad

Summertime always brings with it parties and barbecue’s.  The most important dish is the creamy and ever so satisfying potato salad.  The all american easy basic potato salad.  Always a family favorite.
PotatoSalad-MeasuringSunshine
We almost always have the ingredients in the house and takes minimal time to whip up.
It doesn’t matter what type of potato you use, I prefer red, gold or white but it’s because you don’t have to peel them.  You can use russet potatoes but make sure to peel them, the skin is too tough.
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Ingredients:
3 lbs potatoes, red, gold, white, etc.
10 eggs
1 can olives
3-4 stalks celery
3-4 large dill pickles
2-3 tbsp fresh dill
3/4 – 1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mustard or a little less if you prefer

First step is to boil the potatoes, I really try to do this the night before I need the salad, get a big deep pan and fill 1/2 way with water.  Pick potatoes just a little bigger than an egg. Wash the potatoes and drop into the water before you turn on the burner.  Add the eggs on top.  The water should be just covering both the potatoes and the eggs. Gently boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Pour out into a colander, strain.  Put them into a big bowl and put into the refrigerator to cool.  If you waited until the last minute to decide to make the salad-I have done this a lot- then you can run cool water over them for a few minutes until cool enough to start to cut them.
Cut the potatoes into about 1″ cubes,  peel the eggs and slice in half, separate the yolks and put into a small bowl.  Chop the egg whites into small pieces.
Chop the celery, pickles, olives into small pieces.  Chop the dill finely.
PotatoSalad-MeasuringSunshine
Now take the yolks and mash, add the mayo, mustard, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper and add 1-2 tbsp of pickle juice from the jar.  Mix this all up and pour into the bowl with all the other ingredients that you finished chopping.
You can stir this up with a spoon or do what I do and mix with my hands.  This way doesn’t seem to mash the potatoes up and the salad looks better.
PotatoSalad-MeasuringSunshine
Cover and chill until the barbecue is ready.  Remember to keep this salad cool during the summer.
Here are a few other options to add:

Onions
green olives
parsley
bacon

Lemon Cheesecake

This is my much in demand cheesecake.  Lemony, creamy and very very decadent. Guaranteed  to be the hit of the gathering, holiday or office party.
You can serve it plain, with a dollop of whip cream or any type of fruit toppings.

 

Lemon Cheesecake-MeasuringSunshine
Gather the ingredients.
Lemon Cheesecake-MeasuringSunshine
Crust:
1/2 cup melted butter
3 cup graham cracker crumbs( you can you butter cookie crumbs, etc)
1/3 cup sugar
Mix together and dump into the spring form pan.”1
Lemon Cheesecake-MeasuringSunshine
Easiest way to get it tamped down is with a small flat bottomed cup. Edges should go up the sides up to 1″.  Doesn’t have to be perfect.
You can wrap the spring form pan with aluminum foil if you want to use a water bath.  I have tried it both ways.  I personally don’t care if my cheesecake has a crack in the top so I will usually pass on the water bath.  Texture is about the same either way.
Lemon Cheesecake-MeasuringSunshine
Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Cheesecake ingredients:
3 tbsp grated lemon rind
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4- 8 oz package of cream cheese
1/8 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla paste
4 large eggs

Grate 2-4 good sized lemons- enough to get 3 tbsp lemon rind.  Juice lemons to get 3 tbsp juice.
In mixing bowl, cream 4-8oz packages of cream cheese.  you can use full fat or 1/3 less fat cream cheese. The full fat is richer but I use the 1/3 less fat cream cheese. Its a little lighter and I don’t feel so guilty about eating it.  Add 2 cups sugar the 3 tbsp lemon juice, 1/8 tsp salt, 1 tbsp vanilla paste.  Add 4 eggs, 1 at a time.
Pour into the 10″ spring form pan.
Lemon Cheesecake-MeasuringSunshine
Bake for 55-60 minutes or until center is firm- poke it with a toothpick- if it comes out mostly clean its done-  don’t forget it will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven until it starts to cool.
LemonCheesecake-MeasuringSunshine

Optional topping:  3/4 cup sour cream smeared over the top of the cooled cheesecake, add any type of fruit on top of the sour cream. Serve and enjoy.

Spinach Dill Pasta Salad

Summertime means pasta salad to me.  Its quick, easy and uses all the great vegetables you get from the garden or the farmers markets.   The most important reason I love this dish is you only need to use one burner.  No oven needed!  Where I live that is very important on those 100+ degree days of summer.
Some of my favorites to pick  up at the farmers market are spinach, fresh dill, celery, baby yellow crookneck squash and zucchini.  I always have pasta, olives and pickles in the cabinet.
SpinachDillPastaSalad- MeasuringSunshine

These are the ingredients I begin with:
1 box -16 oz pasta
1 can 6.5 oz sliced olives
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt- or to taste
1 tsp pepper-or to taste
2-3 stalks of celery- diced
2-3 large dill pickles-diced
2 tbsp fresh dill- chopped
small handful of carrots- these you can grate or chopped
Then I start adding any other vegetables I have that day:
1/4 lb of fresh spinach, chopped
1 medium zucchini -chopped
1-2 baby yellow crookneck squash-chopped
Green onions
Tomatoes

Boil the pasta, depending on what type you want to use -read the box on how long to boil it.  I will usually cook it 1-2 minutes less than it says, but I like it firm but not crunchy. Cook the pasta how you like it best.
While the pasta is boiling, just start chopping and dumping in a big bowl.  Chop-dump, chop-dump………..
About half way through chopping the pasta should be done- drain and let cool while you finish chopping.
When you are done chopping all the other ingredients, dump the  cooled pasta into the bowl with everything else.
Add the mayonnaise and all the spices.  If the pasta doesn’t look moist you can add either more mayo or a little pickle juice.
SpinachDillPastaSalad- MeasuringSunshine

This dish works well if you are going to a BBQ.  I just put the chopped veggies in a big, take a big bowl, put the wet ingredients and the spices in plastic bowl with a lid and put it all together when I get to the event.

Caramel Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

There is nothing better than these gooey caramel cinnamon rolls laden with fresh walnuts.  I have made some variety of these rolls since my kids were little. The kids were always very excited because I love them so much I wouldn’t bake them very often or I would end up eating most of them.

I have a friend who’s grandmother cracks walnuts and pulls the meat. I feel fortunate that I am able to buy a couple of bags each year.  The walnuts are so fresh, so beautiful, the first thing I think of making when I get my hands on the walnuts are these gooey cinnamony walnuty rolls.

MeasuringSunshine-CaramelWalnutCinnamonRolls

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 pkg rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter- cut into pieces
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla paste-optional
3 – 3 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
_________
1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 – 2 cups chopped walnuts
__________
3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
more chopped walnuts
cinnamon, nutmeg, more cinnamon, more cinnamon

Warm up the milk in the microwave to about 115 degrees,  add 1/4 cup sugar and the yeast- set aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the egg, add the chopped butter.  After the 5 minutes and the yeast has activated add to the egg and butter.  Mix  3 cups flour with the salt.  Add to the yeast mixture 1/2 cup at a time.  The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl, if not add another 1/2 cup flour.
Prepare a separate bowl with drizzling 1 tbsp of canola oil.  Set aside.

Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour onto the kneading board and them pull the dough out of bowl.  Knead  for 2-4 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy.  I keep wanting to take a picture of this but my hands are in the dough and not camera worthy.
Take the dough and toss into the prepared bowl that has the canola oil. Swish it around to coat and then flip so the oily part is on the top.  I normally cover with a towel, but you can also use plastic wrap.  Put bowl into a warm place to rise for about an hour.

While the dough is rising- get a saucepan and add the half cup butter and the brown sugar- turn the stove onto medium.  Add the corn syrup and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is all the way melted and then I will usually simmer until it thickens.  Set aside for it to cool down.

Chop the walnuts, set aside.
When the dough had risen to double the size, take out half and roll out into a rectangle mine is never rectangle. Smear the soften butter over the whole thing.   Sprinkle the white sugar, then the brown sugar, then add the cinnamon, and or other spices.  I don’t think you can put too much cinnamon. Sprinkle part of the chopped walnuts(these I chop finer than the ones that go into the caramel.
Start at the wide side and start rolling.
I use a piece of thread to cut the rolls, but a very sharp knife will work as well.
MeasuringSunshine- CaramelCinnamonWalnut Rolls

Get your pan (make sure pan has handles or a lip that you will be able to hold as you flip the pan after baking) out and pour the caramel onto the bottom, sprinkle the rest of the walnuts over the caramel.
As you cut the rolls, place on top of the caramel.
MeasuringSunshine- CaramelCinnamonWalnut Rolls
Leave some space between the rolls- these are a little too close, I actually had to take some of them out and put into a different pan. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes.  To check to see if they are done, select one of the center rolls and pull gently away from the roll next to it.  Does it look flaky or still gooey?  If still gooey , put back into the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
After rolls are done, let cool in the pan until you can touch the pan without burning yourself.
Get a plate at least a big as the pan with the rolls.  Put the plate upside down on top of pan of rolls, grab both sides and flip.
MeasuringSunshine- CaramelCinnamonWalnut Rolls

 

Get a cup of coffee, sit down and enjoy.

You can do these the night before and when you get to the bake stage- put into the refrigerator.
The next morning let the chill where off and throw into the oven. You may need to bake a little longer.

Salisbury Steak

Salisbury Steak-This Salisbury Steak is one of the warm and hearty meals your family will love.  Who doesn't enjoy meat and potatoes for dinner.

Salisbury Steak

This Salisbury Steak is one of the warm and hearty meals your family will love.  Who doesn’t enjoy meat and potatoes for dinner.  I know, it sounds old fashioned but this meal is filling and cheap to make and it will feed a crowd.  When its cold outside this dish will warm up the insides.
This is one of the first dinners we have at the beginning of the winter.  It’s pretty easy to make and is ready in a little over an hour.
I have taken these to family friends homes for the buffets and frozen it for meals in the future.
Ingredients:
2 lbs hamburger- I normally use 80/20 but I have also used turkey and 90/10.
4 cloves to however much Garlic you want-grated
sliced celery
salt/pepper
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Bread or Crackers
Eggs
32 oz. Beef, Mushroom or Vegetable broth
2-4 tbsp of butter or olive oil
2-3 sliced onions, or 1-2 lbs of sliced mushrooms or both or adjust amounts for your tastes.
Flour

Salisbury Steak-This Salisbury Steak is one of the warm and hearty meals your family will love.  Who doesn't enjoy meat and potatoes for dinner.
Add the garlic, Worcestershire,salt and pepper to the meat, don’t mix yet.
You have a couple choices now.  You can either moisten 3 pieces of bread with milk or crunch up 10-12 crackers.  I use Ritz but if I’m out of them I am not opposed to using another type of cracker.  I have used multi-grain, soda, or whatever I have handy.
Then add 2 eggs.
Mix with your hands as quickly and gently as you can.    Shape into patties.

This Salisbury Steak is one of the warm and hearty meals your family will love.  Who doesn't enjoy meat and potatoes for dinner.
Start frying patties on medium heat.  We don’t want them to be done- just browned on both sides.  As they brown put into a casserole dish.
Salisbury Steak-This Salisbury Steak is one of the warm and hearty meals your family will love.  Who doesn't enjoy meat and potatoes for dinner.
After the patties are done, slice up a couple to onions and saute in the same pan, you might want to drain the fat and add some olive oil or butter.
This Salisbury Steak is one of the warm and hearty meals your family will love.  Who doesn't enjoy meat and potatoes for dinner.
After the onion or mushrooms or both are almost done,  add the flour and cook for a couple more minutes as you stir.  Then pour over the patties in the casserole dish.
This Salisbury Steak is one of the warm and hearty meals your family will love.  Who doesn't enjoy meat and potatoes for dinner.
Preheat the over to 350 degrees.
Add the beef, mushroom or vegetable stock over the the onions and patties.
Slip into the oven and get comfy or make mashed potatoes or rice.  (We’ve even eaten these over big pieces of bread)

It needs to bake for about 40 minutes.

This will make enough for 6-10 people depending on how big you make the patties.

 

Quick and Easy Spaghetti Sauce

This is my go to sauce that pleases everyone.  When we have surprise guests or even planned quests I will usually make this sauce.
You can make a small batch or a huge batch and freeze part of it for an emergency meal.
I normally have most of the important ingredients in the pantry.  All you need to make it your own are a few fresh ingredients.
Quick and Easy Spaghetti Sauce. This is my go to sauce that pleases everyone.  When we have surprise guests or even planned quests I will usually make this sauce. You can make a small batch or a huge batch and freeze part of it for an emergency meal. I normally have most of the important ingredients in the pantry.  All you need to make it your own are a few fresh ingredients.

I always have several 28 oz cans of San Marzano Tomatoes in my pantry. I buy them when they go on sale.
You don’t have to use San Marzano, any  type of canned tomatoes will work but you will need to add about 2 tsp of sugar if you don’t use them.  The San Marzano’s tend to be a little less acidic and slightly more sweet.
This sauce can be used as spaghetti sauce, lasagna sauce, or any other Italian recipe sauce.  I have used it over eggplant, chicken breasts, etc.

1-2 onions- diced
2 stalks celery-diced
10-15 cloves of garlic-chopped- depending on your love of garlic.
2 lbs of 80% Hamburger meat
2-4 tbsp of Italian herbs-you can buy the mixture or mix you own. (thyme, basil, oregano)
1-2 tsp of dried red chili pepper-
2- 28oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes, doesn’t matter if they are whole, diced or pureed.
Couple good squirts of tomato paste.  I have a tube in the refrigerator, or use 2 tbsp of can paste.
Mushrooms
Zucchini
6oz can of black olives
salt and pepper to taste.

Start by saute’ing the onions and celery, cook for 5-7 minutes, add the hamburger-chop it up as it cooks so it ends up being very small chunks.  Cook until the burger is almost done and add the garlic, herbs and chili peppers.  Add the tomatoes and paste.  Simmer 5 minutes.
Spaghetti Sauce-Measuring Sunshine-This is my go to sauce that pleases everyone.  When we have surprise guests or even planned quests I will usually make this sauce. You can make a small batch or a huge batch and freeze part of it for an emergency meal. I normally have most of the important ingredients in the pantry.  All you need to make it your own are a few fresh ingredients.
While the sauce is simmering, you have time to chop up whatever fresh vegetable you have to add to the sauce.  I generally have mushrooms and zucchini hanging out in the refrigerator.  I chop up a can of black olives  and pour about 1/3 of the juice from the can into the sauce. Add a  little water if it looks a little thick.
Spaghetti Sauce-MeasuringSunshine-This is my go to sauce that pleases everyone.  When we have surprise guests or even planned quests I will usually make this sauce. You can make a small batch or a huge batch and freeze part of it for an emergency meal. I normally have most of the important ingredients in the pantry.  All you need to make it your own are a few fresh ingredients.

Let the sauce simmer until the vegetables are cooked.  Usually about another half hour.

Serve over any type of pasta.

This is my Spaghetti sauce that pleases everyone. You can make a small batch or a huge batch. All you need to make it your own are a few fresh ingredients.

I normally keep the sauce separate and reheat as I need it.  This is perfect to take for lunches to work.

Add a little Parmesan or mozzarella cheese- garlic bread.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies

I have adapted my favorite Oatmeal cookie to include all the things I love……
Dark Chocolate, Tart Dried Cherries, Oatmeal and Wheat flour.

If you are baking these for bake sales or gifts, you can drizzle chocolate over it make them ever better.
Some other options to add are:  any type of nut, raisins, coconut.  I have tried them all.
DarkChocolateCherryCookies-I have adapted my favorite Oatmeal cookies to include all the things I love...... Dark Chocolate, Tart Dried Cherries, Oatmeal and Wheat flour.

1 cup Butter, you can use  shortening or margarine-the texture might change a little though.
1 cup packed brown sugar and 1 half cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla paste- you can use extract if that is what you have.
3 cups oats
1 cup wheat flour, I have also used oat flour but you will need to add another egg
1 tsp salt
1/2  tsp soda and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 – 3/4 cup dried tart cherries
1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate.

DarkChocolateCherryCookies-I have adapted my favorite Oatmeal cookies to include all the things I love...... Dark Chocolate, Tart Dried Cherries, Oatmeal and Wheat flour.
Cream softened butter together with the sugars.  Add egg and beat together, add vanilla paste and mix.
Mix flour, salt, baking soda and powder.  Add to wet ingredients.
Add oatmeal, cherries and chocolate.
Drop by teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.
DarkChocolateCherryOatmealCookies-I have adapted my favorite Oatmeal cookies to include all the things I love...... Dark Chocolate, Tart Dried Cherries, Oatmeal and Wheat flour.
The reason I use wheat flour is the slightly nuttiness the flour gives to the cookies.
Use can use any type of flour in this recipe but if you use oat flour you will need a little extra moisture.

Quick and Hearty Chili with Beans

Quick and hearty Chili with Beans is always a winter favorite.  This chili is fast and easy to make.
I have heard the argument that its not really chili if it has beans.  However, my family feels that its not chili without the beans.
So I guess its just where you were raised and the type of chili you grew up eating.
This is my version of quick and fast chili…………..most of the things I use are already in my cupboards.
It takes from start to finish about 1 and 1/2 hours.  This recipe is enough to feed 10-12 hungry people.
Quick and hearty Chili beans.
I will normally serve with cornbread and condiments like, chopped onions, grated cheeses, avocado’s and even sometimes with corn chips, tortilla chips and my son’s  favorite is chilidogs.
I do have to admit I cheated, I did not soak the beans, I ran by my local big box store and picked up the ready to use giant can.

Ingredients:
3lbs. ground beef ( I have also used ground turkey)
3 large onions(chopped  in a food processor)
8 cloves of garlic(chopped with the onions)
2-7 oz cans of roasted green chilies, I use mild ones.
8 oz of dried chilis- (the ones you see in packages all over the grocery store)
6lb 12 oz can  of beans, I used kidney beans but you can use pinto or navy, or a mixture of your favorites.
28oz can of diced tomatoes
salt & pepper
about 3 tablespoons of cumin
about 1/2 cup of chili powder
1 teaspoon of chili flakes
2 tablespoon of garlic powder
Quick and hearty chili with beans.
Start with the dry chili  peppers- tear the stems and take out most of the seeds.  Then simmer in pan with about 2 cups water.
In a big pot start cooking the hamburger on medium heat, when its about half way cooked, add the chopped onions and garlic……… finish cooking.
When the burger is cooked you can scoop the fat out, or not, up to you.  Depending on the % of fat in the burger you use.
Now start adding the spices, the cans of green chilies, tomatoes, and the beans(drain and wash)… have it simmer on medium low while you puree the dried chili’s in a processor.
Pull the chili’s out of the water and puree, then add to strainer and push the creamy stuff through and leave the skin and seeds. It helps to pour the water you simmered them in over the top of the leftover bits and pieces. Add this to the chili…….. this should be enough liquid for the chili to simmer for about half hour.

If you don’t want to use dried chili’s that’s okay, just add more cumin and chili powder.
Quick and easy Chili

I usually taste the chili and adjust the seasoning.  Everyone like chili a little different and so add more or less of any of the seasonings.
While the chili is simmering you can chop up some onions, grate cheese, chop olives,  find the sour cream, corn chips, make some cornbread.  Whatever you want to have with the chili.

Quick and hearty Chili with beans