Welcome to September my lovelies! Today I decided to go all out and make a total fall dinner and dessert before the medic had to leave for night shift.
Turkey Veggie Chili:
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 small to medium onion, diced
2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (like more heat? add more jalapeno or leave in the seeds and ribs)
1 orange bell pepper, 1 inch dice
1 28oz can plum tomatoes, diced
1/2 c sundried tomatoes (not oil packed); blanched and diced
1 can red kidney beans, rinsed
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
1lb ground turkey breast
Salt & pepper
Place the diced eggplant in a baking dish and toss with 2 tbsp (ish) olive oil and cover with foil. Bake at 350F for half an hour, stirring once.
While the eggplant bakes, place a heavy bottomed pot on the stove (I got a Le Creuset pot from my MIL for a shower gift…I *love* it) and warm a couple tablespoons of oil. When the oil is warm, add the onion and cook until translucent about five minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about another minute before adding in the jalapeno and bell pepper.
Side note – I love my Rachael Ray spoons that rest so perfectly on the side of a pot!
Cook the peppers for five more minutes, then add in the tomatoes and seasonings. I used the can of tomatoes (and juice), as well as a diced regular tomato I had on my counter and a half pint of whole grape tomatoes.
Let simmer while you brown the ground turkey in a separate pan. Once your turkey is browned and your eggplant is cooked, add them to the pot, along with the beans and diced sundried tomatoes. You can find the dry packed sundried tomatoes in the produce section usually. To blanch, cover with boiling water for two minutes, then drain and use as needed. Leave the pot to simmer for at least twenty minutes, longer is better!
When it’s done, it’ll look something like this:
We topped ours with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. It would also be awesome eaten with your favourite tortilla chips, sour cream and green onions! Original recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/spicy_vegetarian_chili/
And now on to dessert:
Pink Salted Caramel Pumpkin Muffins
I know, right? Can’t get much more fall than pumpkin anything, can you? Another wedding shower gift – Mostly Muffins by Jean Pare. This recipe was originally for a loaf, but since I planned on bringing the remainder to work, I adapted it for muffins, since they’re so much more portable and easy to eat.
2 cups flour (I used half unbleached, half whole wheat)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 milk of your choice (I used 1%; almond or soy would work well too)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cup canned or fresh pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup Grenache caramel (found near the peanut butter…or you can use caramel/butterscotch ice cream topping)
Himalayan pink sea salt, coarse grind
Preheat oven to 375F
Measure all the dry ingredients (except the pecans and butterscotch chips) into a large bowl, whisk together. In a separate, medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, butter and pumpkin. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and add the butterscotch chips and pecans.
Mix until just moistened, it’s okay if you can still see some flour! Overmixing is the *worst* thing you can do to batter, you’ll end up with dense, heavy muffins.
Line your muffin tins with good non-stick liners…these muffins get sticky! Divide the batter among the cups (this will make 16-18…I did 1.5x the recipe and got a full two dozen). Easiest done with an icecream scoop that has a release lever. Once your batter is divided, use a small spoon to drizzle some of the caramel over each muffin. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a cake tester (or toothpick…or steak knife) inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Let the muffins rest in the pan for a few minutes, then sprinkle a small amount of pink sea salt over the muffins before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
The finished product:
Fair warning – the caramel bubbles up like mad and makes a *huge* mess on the muffin tin. Line the lower rack of your oven with tin foil, just in case, because you don’t want to be trying to scrub burnt caramel out of the bottom of your oven (it was bad enough scrubbing it off the pans)!
Lots of love, enjoy the weather!