Easy, Delicious Chili

This Chili recipe is so easy, I almost didn’t post it. But isn’t that the whole point of my recipes? To be quick and easy? My recipe is basically my version of my mom’s chili that she has been making for years. It is basically a dump recipe, meaning you dump in the cans and call it a day.

 

Today, I decided to prevent the burnt Chili fiasco of last week, that we would go with the Slow Cooker method. Yes, even a food blogger burns stuff. It happens to the best of us! I decided that myCrock Pot Express would be the best way to cook it, because of the sauté option. In a traditional crock pot, I would have to brown the meat in another pan, but with this one, I can brown it in the cooker. This keeps the dishwashing to a minimum. I think we can all agree that less dishes = happier mamas!

Here is my recipe:

Easy, Delicious Chili
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Easy, Delicious Chili

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 4 cans Hot Chili Beans
  • 2 cans Black Beans
  • 2 cans Dice Tomatoes or 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 package Chili Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper
  • (I also use a garlic or 23 spice for seasoning the meat)

Instructions

  1. Brown the ground beef. Add a little Salt, Pepper, and 23 Spice Mix.
  2. Add all the beans.
  3. Add all the tomatoes or sauce.
  4. Pour in the spice packet.
  5. Stir Well.
  6. Heat on medium/low if cooking on stove top.
  7. If making in a crock pot cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  8. If making in the Instant Pot press the chili button and start.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/easy-delicious-chili/

This recipe is very versatile! Add some chopped matchstick carrots or chopped bell peppers. If you like spice add some chopped jalapeños. I also make rice or macaroni noodles to mix it with. If you don’t like that many beans, cut the beans and add more meat. You could even substitute ground turkey for the ground beef.

Don’t forget to take a picture and post it with the hashtag #leslieslittlecorner.

Happy Cooking!

Looking for more easy, kid friendly meals? Check out my Recipe Index!

Instant Pot “Baked” Spaghetti

I finally broke down and bought a Crock Pot Express this summer and I have really come to LOVE it. When I first started reading up on how exactly you could make baked spaghetti in an Instant Pot, I was a little thrown by all the water that they called for ! Most of the recipes had some fancy DIY recipe, which was fine, but all I had was a jar of spaghetti sauce. So, you can see how I was freaking out a little to pour all of that water into the mix. I was afraid it was going to be watery and have no flavor!

After a little hesitation, I decided I was just going to do it, and if it was bad we could just order pizza! But, guess what? We didn’t wind up having to order pizza that night! My “Baked” Spaghetti was a success and it was done in no time.

For those of you who are asking: Okay, but honestly is it really worth it to have ANOTHER gadget in my kitchen? I already have a crock pot…. Well here is MY answer to that. Have you ever bought a roast and wound up throwing it out because your week got jacked up and you never had time to stick it in the crock pot? Well, with the Instant Pot, that would never have happened because you could have made it in there in less than an hour. And yes, the meat is just as tender!

Yes, it is definitely worth it!

 

Now, on to the recipe! For the Baked Spaghetti, first you will brown your ground beef in the Instant Pot/Crock Pot Express using the saute option.

 

Then, you will pour all the other ingredients and spices in and stir them well. Close and fasten the lid. Press the Chili Button, set the time to 5 minutes, and press Start!

*Quick tip: Make sure the pressure release is closed!*

Instant Pot “Baked” Spaghetti
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Yield: 6+

Instant Pot “Baked” Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce (any kind)
  • 1 box Ziti noodles
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Seasoning
  • Onion Powder
  • 1 pkg Italian Blend Cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Put the ground beef into the pressure cooker. Press the Saute' button, start, and brown the meat.
  2. Use a little salt, pepper, garlic seasoning, and onion powder to season the ground beef. (Just a couple of shakes will do)
  3. Pour Bottle of Sauce into the pot.
  4. Pour Box of Noodles into the pot
  5. Pour 2 - 2 1/2 cups of water into the pot.
  6. (I measure the 2 cups of water and pour into the spaghetti sauce jar to get all the sauce out)
  7. Stir ingredients until mixed, making sure that the pasta is covered with water/sauce.
  8. Close and lock the lid. Make sure the pressure valve is closed.
  9. Press the chili button, adjust the time to 5 minutes. Press Start.
  10. When the cook time has finished, use a long spoon to open the pressure valve for a quick release.
  11. When all steam has stopped coming out, it is safe to open the cooker.
  12. When serving the spaghetti you can sprinkle a little cheese on, if desired.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/instant-pot-baked-spaghetti/

 

I would LOVE your feedback if you try this recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy for details!

Why I Made Vegan Queso Dip

Here is the story of how a meat eater came to be making a Vegan Queso recipe:

A long time ago, in a house across town, a very pregnant woman got really, really sick one day. From that day on, she vowed to never drink milk, and only eat a little bite of ice cream every now and then. It was really hard for her, because she loved milk and ice cream with all her heart. Her only consolation was that she could still eat cheese in moderation.

But one day many years later, her world came crashing down and she had to give up cheese too! It was almost too much to bear! In her desperation, she started looking for something she could replace cheese with! Fake grocery store cheese was expensive and disappointing! Soaking (expensive) cashew’s all day? Please. 

 

But then, one summer day, she came across a recipe for Vegan Queso Dip. She was very skeptical, and also not vegan. But she was desperate, so why not?, she asked herself. It turned out that she actually had all but one of the ingredients already! And the list of ingredients wasn’t a mile long either! It was almost too good to be true! So, she set off to the store to buy the one missing ingredient : Eggplant!

And that friends, is the story of how I came to be making a Vegan recipe today. I am sure most of you know, that I am very much a meat eater! Especially if you have followed my blog for any length of time. So don’t worry guys, I am not going Vegan on you! But, I had to share this recipe with you, because it is actually good! So if you can’t eat dairy either, starting today you CAN eat chips and queso!! 

I found this recipe on Minimalist Baker, and I am impressed! I literally had to make myself put it away. (Although, it was made with a vegetable, so I don’t really feel that bad.) So, there is a chance that you may see me reviewing some more of her “cheesy” recipes. You can find the recipe here.

I was a little ill-prepared this morning and didn’t have quite enough almond milk, so I added a little chicken broth to mine to make sure I had enough liquid. So mine wasn’t actually Vegan… But, as I was eating it, I also thought that it would be good with some chili mixed in or even adding a little ground beef with the rotel, so you may also see some follow up posts about that. 

Now, you may be wondering “But what about the husband and kids, did they like it?” Well, I haven’t actually shared it with them yet, but when I do I will edit to let you know! However, if by chance they don’t like it , well : More for me! 

If you decide to try it out, let me know! I would love to hear your opinion! 

Are you looking for some quick and easy dinner recipes? Try out my Recipe Index

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Crock Pot Express Honey Garlic Chicken

I have been wanting an Instapot for a long time! I just never seem to have the extra money when they go on sale. Last week, I took the kids to get some summer clothes at Kohl’s and got $50 in Kohl’s cash from the shopping trip. I had noticed the Instapot and the Crock Pot Express in the store, and was thinking that maybe I could get one for half off. But after a 20% discount and my Kohl’s cash, I was able to get the Crock Pot Express for less than $14!!

I have been researching recipes all weekend and reading up on how to use it. I had a whole chicken in the freezer, so I pulled it out to thaw, and have that be my first test in the new Crock Pot Express. I know, I am such a nerd with my new cooking toy. But, this is supposed to be this awesome way to cook , and I have been missing out!

Well, the Crock Pot Express did not disappoint! My chicken turned out great! It was tender, juicy, and fell off the bone. It wasn’t dry or soggy, it was perfect! Since it turned out so well, I am going to share the recipe so you can try it too!

Crock Pot Express Honey Garlic Chicken
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Yield: 6+

Crock Pot Express Honey Garlic Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Chicken 3-6 lbs
  • 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • For the Rub:
  • 2-3 Tblsp. Honey
  • 1 Tblsp. Garlic and Herb Mix
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder

Instructions

  1. Remove the chicken from packaging and clean out the neck/gizzards etc. Discard. (Or whatever you want to do with them)
  2. Place the chicken on a plate or cutting board, and coat with olive oil using a basting brush.
  3. Salt and Pepper the entire chicken.
  4. Place into the cooker and press the sauté button.
  5. Sauté on each side for 3 -5 min. (If you have a large set of tongs it will help flip the chicken easier)
  6. Remove chicken from the cooker.
  7. Pour the water (or broth) into the cooker.
  8. Place the steaming rack inside.
  9. Mix ingredients for the rub together and using a basting brush coat the entire chicken. (You can cut the skin and rub underneath on the chicken breast)
  10. Place the chicken back into the cooker.
  11. Put the lid on and lock. Move steam valve to closed.
  12. Press the Poultry Button.
  13. Adjust the time to 6 minutes per pound. (ie. 6lbs = 36 minutes)
  14. When the cooking time is done, allow the cooker to release pressure for 10 minutes. (Mine counts the time up after cooking)
  15. Using a utensil and pot holder push the steam valve open. (Watch your fingers, it's hot!)
  16. When there is no more steam coming out, it is safe to open the lid.
  17. Remove the chicken and place on a plate to cut.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/crock-pot-express-honey-garlic-chicken/

 

Let me know in the comments if you try and like this recipe!

Turkey Meatballs

I don’t usually buy ground turkey, but I found some on clearance the other day and decided to try a little experiment. See, my husband always notices when I replace ground beef for ground turkey. I think it tastes fine, but he isn’t a fan. I decided that I would try making meatballs with the turkey instead of trying to sneak it in a dish.

It worked! They didn’t even know it was turkey!

Actually, it worked so well, that we wound up using most of the meatballs that I had made to freeze for dinner the next night! All of my kids loved them. My son, Caleb even ate them, and he doesn’t eat anything. I was so excited!

The great thing about these meatballs is that you can mostly use what you have on hand to make them.  They can also be served by themselves as an appetizer, in spaghetti, or with vegetable sides as you meal. If you don’t have turkey, you can always use ground beef or ground chicken instead. And you can double or triple the recipe.

 

Turkey Meatballs
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Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup plain oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tblsp ketchup
  • 8- 10 crackers smashed or 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp House Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 350. (Unless you are freezing them)
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine meat and all ingredients one by one, stirring well.
  3. Once all of the ingredients are well mixed, line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  4. Form meat balls about 1 inch - 1 1/2 inches around.
  5. Place each one on the lined baking pan as you finish forming the balls.
  6. (If you are freezing, once you have made all your meatballs, you will place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then remove and put them in freezer bags and store in the freezer)
  7. To Cook:
  8. Using a frying pan, brown the outsides of the meat balls in a frying pan. About 5 minutes each side.
  9. Place on a foil lined baking sheet.
  10. When you have browned all the meat balls, you will then bake them for about 15 minutes.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/turkey-meatballs/

Freezer Cooking Friendly!

If you are having a freezer cooking day, these are a great item to make and freeze. Buy extra meat (especially if you find it on clearance) and make a bunch. These will only take about 30 minutes!

 

Easy Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

A long, long time ago when Josh and I first got married, I found a very simple Tortilla Soup recipe. It was tucked into the coupon insert of the Sunday paper. That was one of my very first recipes that did not involve any type of Hamburger Helper. It was so good that I still to this day get asked to make it.

That was almost 18 years ago!

Since then, I can’t seem to find the Mahatma Red Beans and Rice anymore, so I decided that I would adapt my old recipe to add in a few new ingredients. It is still just as easy and delicious as ever!

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb cooked chicken breast diced
  • 1 cup dry black beans (pre-cooked)(or two cans)
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 Chicken Buillion Cubes ( or better than Buillion)
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 pack Taco Seasoning (or make your own mix)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Cilantro - chopped
  • cheese
  • Tortilla Strips or Chips

Instructions

  1. Put the chicken, beans, water, buillion, tomatoes, and seasoning in the crockpot.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  4. Add rice in about 30 minutes before you are ready to eat.
  5. Slice Avocado and chop cilantro.
  6. Top with Tortilla Chips, cheese, avocado and cilantro.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/easy-slow-cooker-tortilla-soup/

This Tortilla Soup recipe is very versatile.

Use red beans instead of black. Brown rice instead of white. Skip the Avocado. Use chicken broth instead of water and buillion. Use boxed red beans and rice. Seriously, it will still be delicious!

Enjoy!

Looking for more soup recipes? Try Chicken Noodle Soup !

For The Mama That Dreads The Hairbrushing Drama

Ham and Cheese Quiche

I just happened upon some Organic Eggs yesterday that were clearanced out for 50 cents. The expiration is in 3 days, so I was brainstroming in the grocery store what I could make with the eggs. Three things came to mind quiche, breakfast burritos, and egg muffins!

One thing that is always a hit with my family is ham and cheese quiche, so I went over to the frozen section grabbed some pie crusts, then grabbed some ham in the sandwich meat section. Last, I grabbed a bag of colby jack cheese.

Photo by Malidate Van from Pexels

So there was one meal (or two) down. I went home and made two quiches. One to freeze, and one to eat for lunch/dinner yesterday. Cooking earlier in the day made dinner so much easier, so that might be something I need to look into trying more often!

While I made the Quiche, I recorded my very first You Tube video to post in my blog, so you can see exaactly what I did and how easy it is! I edited the video down, but I did leave in some of the parts with my kids, because that is what really happens when mom’s cook, right?

While I hope that my video making skills get a little better over time, I hope you can appreciate the authenticity in this one!

Ham and Cheese Quiche
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Ham and Cheese Quiche

Ingredients

  • Frozen Pie Crust
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup of cheese
  • Ham (Diced, Sandwich Meat, Leftover)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon House Seasoning

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Line the bottom and sides of pie crust with ham.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top of the ham.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine eggs and milk and wisk until completely mixed. (Mixture should be all yellow with no egg whites showing)
  5. Add the House Seasoning. Mix.
  6. Slowly pour into the pie crust until full.
  7. Very Carefully Place into the oven and bake for 30 - 35 minutes.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/ham-and-cheese-quiche/

Have you ever tried making quiche before? If not, are you surprised that something with such a weird name is so easy to make!?

If you try it, let me know how it turns ouy and rate the recipe!

 

 

Looking for more egg recipes? Try my Egg Muffins! 

Or my Easy Pork Chops and Eggs

 

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Banana Bread

I mentioned yesterday that I have been trying to save a little money on my groceries lately. I was inspired by Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom to go to the store and look for the clearance deals. I have been getting some great deals on meats, bread, yogurt, and milk. Yesterday morning I happened upon some clearance out bananas, and I decided that it would be really fun to make some banana bread.

I haven’t been able to bake in a while because I’ve been so busy. But I really enjoy baking, it’s one of my favorite things to do. There’s something fun about making something from scratch and feeding it to your family. I also occasionally try new things (and fail) and torture my family by making them eat them, so there’s also that.

When I got home from the store, I went looking for a recipe for banana bread. Over the years I have tried a lot of recipes for banana bread. Some of them have been awesome, especially the ones that contain cream cheese. Because cream cheese makes everything better. I found this recipe on the Kitchn. I have used many recipes from here before when I was making dinner or cooking something from scratch. The recipes on this site are always really reliable.

Something that I really liked about this recipe is that you were able to sub out some of the ingredients for more healthy options. I decided that instead of using white sugar that I would try to use my coconut sugar. It has  been sitting in my pantry for a while and I really needed to use it.

That was the only substitution that I made yesterday but I was thinking that you could also say about coconut oil for the butter if you wanted to. You could also use brown sugar instead of coconut or white sugar. I really think that the coconut sugar gave it a lot of flavor. I also didn’t completely mash my bananas so there are some chunks of banana in the bread. I personally think the big chunks make the bread even better .

Some ideas for using your banana bread :

Send it to lunch with your kids.

Have a slice for breakfast with your coffee or tea.

Use it as a dessert or serve it with ice cream.

Add some chocolate chips and make muffins for the kids breakfast or lunches.

Serve it as a side at dinner.

You can find the original recipe here.

Banana Bread
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Yield: 8

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Coconut sugar
  • A little bit of sugar to sprinkle on top
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 medium bananas, very ripe
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line an 8x5-inch loafpan
  2. with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
  3. If using nuts, toast them in the oven for 10 minutes as the oven is pre-heating.
  4. Melt the butter in the microwave or you can substitute coconut oil.
  5. Combine the butter and sugar. Place the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until combined. (You can also use a stand mixer)
  6. Add the eggs. Mix until completely combined and the mixture is smooth.
  7. Add the milk and vanilla, mix in.
  8. Mash in the bananas. Peel the bananas and add them to the bowl. Using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork, mash them into the batter. Leave the bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer. If you prefer an entirely smooth banana bread, mash the bananas.
  9. Fold in the nuts or chocolate, if using.
  10. Scatter the nuts or chocolate over the batter and gently fold them in. separately until no more lumps remain, and then whisk them into the batter.
  11. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50-60 minutes.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/banana-bread/

Enjoy!!

Summer Strawberry Pie

When I was growing up, my mom used to make the best strawberry pie in the spring and summer. Now, I haven’t been blessed with a great memory, but I do remember helping her make these pies. If I remember something, it must have been meaningful to me. There is something about cooking with my mom that brings back several great memories from when I was growing up.

These strawberry pies are delicious, and they get eaten very quickly. It got to where she had to make two because we would eat them so fast. You better get a piece before it’s gone!

 

When I got married and had children, I carried on the tradition of making strawberry pie for my family too. They are such a big deal in my house that there may or may not have been some arguments over who ate all the pie. I mean, this is serious business around here folks! In fact, when preparing to share this recipe, I considered making an extra and finding a way to ship it to my oldest daughter. She is going to be mad that I made it without her here!

These are great to let your kids help with!

You only need four ingredients. Pie shells, strawberries, glaze, and Coolwhip.

 

Summer Strawberry Pie
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Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of Strawberries
  • 1 package Strawberry Glaze
  • 1 frozen pie crust
  • Cool Whip (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Prick the pie crust with a fork. All over.
  3. Follow instructions on pie crust package to cook an empty pie shell.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Cut the tops off all strawberries, then cut in half or fourths, depending on the size of the berry.
  6. In a medium mixing bowl, combine strawberries and glaze, mix well.
  7. Pour the mix into the cooled pie shell.
  8. Serve or refrigerate for later.
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/summer-strawberry-pie/

These pies are so easy to make and they are very kid friendly. (Unless you have a son like mine who has a very limited diet, but that is a story for another time) They are also great for the summer time, because they are served cold. You only have to turn your oven on for about 20 minutes, so it shouldn’t make the house too hot either.

I hope your family enjoys them as much as ours does! 

 

One Pan Enchilada Casserole

A few weeks ago, I had done my meal planning, and had bought all the ingredients for my Enchilada Casserole recipe. The night that I was supposed to make it, I was completely exhausted, but didn’t really want to order a pizza.

So, as I like to do sometimes, I made up something new. Thankfully, it worked and it was just as good as it is the other way. My favorite part about cooking it this way is that I only get one pan dirty, and I am not doing dishes all night. (Have I mentioned how much I hate doing dishes?)

Here is the new version of the recipe:

One Pan Enchilada Casserole
Rate this recipe

Yield: 6

One Pan Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of yellow or white corn tortillas
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 16 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • 1 lb browned ground beef or shredded chicken
  • 1 8oz bag shredded cheese such as Jack, Colby Jack, Mexican Blend, or Cheddar
  • Sour Cream, Avocado Slices, Guacamole, etc.

Instructions

  1. On medium high heat, brown the ground beef. (or just add your cooked shredded chicken)
  2. Turn your burner down to low.
  3. Add the black beans
  4. Pour in the enchilada sauce
  5. Cut all of the tortillas into 1/2 inch thick strips.
  6. Stir all of the tortilla strips into the mixture.
  7. Add about 1/2 cup of cheese and stir until melted.
  8. It is that easy!!
https://leslieslittlecorner.com/one-pan-enchilada-casserole/

 

Tell me what you think of my lazy creation! I would love to have your feedback!

*This post contains affiliate links, please see my disclosure policy here.*