Food and Drink

Hearty Omelette Recipes That Will Make You A Breakfast Person

Hearty Omelette Recipes That Will Make You A Breakfast Person
By Adrian T. Cheng

Omelettes are a staple on the breakfast table. It's light yet filling and incredibly easy to make. The best part is that you can add your favourite ingredients (your choice of meat, vegetables and even herbs and spices!) to it to make it your own. It's considered to be breakfast food, but of course you can enjoy it any time of the day!

Balsamic and Caramelized Onions Omelette

What you need:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 white onion, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup cubed hard cheese of your choice
  • Olive oil for frying
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a pan then cook the onions until softened. Add the olive oil to the pan then season with salt. Toss onions, remove from heat then set aside. Whip the eggs in a bowl with a little salt and pepper. Fry in the same pan, add more olive oil if needed. Right before eggs are cooked, add cooked onions and cheese to the egg then fold to a half moon. Serve immediately.

Spicy Cashew Breakfast Omelette

What you need:

For the omelette:

  • 8 eggs
  • 2 green chilis, chopped
  • 6 large poppadums, roasted and broken into large pieces
  • 1 capsicum, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the spicy cashews:

  • 2/3 cup cashew nuts
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano

To make the omelette, beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in chilis, coriander, salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a pan the cook capsicum, onion, celery and mushrooms over medium heat until onions are softened. Pour vegetables into the bowl with the eggs. Fry the omelette until slightly browned underneath. When ready, transfer to a serving plate and slice into strips. To make the spicy cashews, heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat then saut� the cashew nuts. Add paprika, cumin, coriander powder and oregano to the pan and stir until ingredients are well-combined. Top omelette with spicy cashews.

Omelettes are the ideal breakfast food, especially if you add healthy ingredients like herbs and vegetables. It will give you the energy to start a new day and of course, allow you to enjoy a hearty, flavorful meal to face another day!

Adrian T. Cheng is a food blogger and a BBQ expert. Through years of grill experience, reviewing various grilling accessories and trying delicious and unique recipes, he is sharing his knowledge with everyone through his blog. For more grilling secrets, tips, recipes and more, head over to Adrian's website where he has other interesting grill-related products and posts.

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Eating More Salad Is Savory to the Palate and a Valid Source of Vitamins and Fiber

Eating More Salad Is Savory to the Palate and a Valid Source of Vitamins and Fiber
By Lorie Ann Jermoune

Salads are a great way for beginning any lunch or dinner meal. I find that due to cold and allergy season, I am less drawn to cold foods and more drawn to comfort foods. SO, what do I do? I entertain different ways of making salads more of a comfort food to appease the taste of me and my family that are still creative, comforting and healthy! I also find ways of adding fruit to my salad, whenever feasible, to increase my daily intake of fruits, grains and fiber.

Hi folks, Yes, I know, rabbit food, salads are not your first choice. BUT, OH, if your salad had a voice, it would be telling you about all the healthy fiber, vitamins and roughage that is great for your digestion. Daily requirements of vegetables, fruits and grains combined in so many ways makes food more vitamin and mineral complete, and pleasing to the palate-at best! Pick and choose a salad that is both sweet and savory to the palate- SATIATE YOUR TASTE DESIRES. Salads are a sweet way of eating more fruits and grains, or substituted and improvised, or comprised as complete meal option,too! *** I have listed a few salads that offer uncommon, nuances for creating or enjoying more salads. There are various ways of sneaking more fiber, grain, or tasty additions to your salad dishes that have a high-impact on daily nutritional requirements. Add some of my favorites or research and add some of your own additives for optimal vitamin and mineral balance.

* Coleslaw-carrot and pineapple salad- all raw, and when blended with vinegar and olive oil are tasty and pair easily with chicken, or even with BBQ ribs.

* Cold potato salad- Boiled potatoes with black olives, cumin, olive oil and vinegar- accompanied as a side dish along with tasty meat or anything.

*Apple-celery-cranberry salad- I have a terrific recipe and I also add walnuts. It's really good! I place a piece of lettuce and a scoop of my salad on top and garnish with a small scoop of dry coconut.. Serve with meat or chicken

*Cold bean salad- Cold beans of your choice with spices and oils and refrigerated makes a great side dish. Serve with meat or chicken

*Cold beet salad- Add balsamic vinegar, or whatever you prefer, chopped herbs and spices and serve with a serving of greens for extra vitamin absorption. Serve with meat or chicken

*Cold carrot-current salad- Sliced carrots with added currents, cranberries and salt and pepper for seasoning. Serve with meat or chicken

*Cold lentil salad- Cook lentils, season as usual, let rest chill and serve as salad topped with chopped tomato and fresh parsley. Serve with meat, chicken or fish.

*Cold couscous salad- Cooked and chilled couscous with spices, chopped vegetables, herbs and spices. Serve with meat or fish.

Salad before, during or after dinner, as some cultures prefer, is a wise way of adding additional fruit, vegetable, or more fiber to your meals. You may find it to be a more savory way of enhancing the taste, it can also be a subtle way to increase your fiber intake. Find ways of adding chia seeds to your fresh fruit or salad dishes. Add almonds, seaweed, bean sprouts, olives, or any other fresh additive for more of a flavor punch and meal benefit.

*** I hope you like and utilize my salad suggestions. I have plenty of recipes and ways of eating and combining fruits and vegetables for tasty, healthy or crunchy and sweet salads. Many of my salads are just as much savory as they are healthy! Write to me with your salad suggestions and recipes or ask me questions and I can create great salad combinations easily!

*I enjoy learning from you and from others offering me knowledge continuously!~

Writing daily especially for you, inspiring heartfelt, empowering passages!~
***Freelance Writer of Inspirational Articles, Motivational Speaker and Writer of catchy, trending, poetic- Advertising and more! You pick the venue and I will expertly write it for you!***You can reach me via U.S. mail in Orlando, Florida.~ Writing is my hearts genuine desire to reach the masses and teach, share, learn, motivate, or engage my readers in an original, poetic, whimsical or informative discipline. Thanks for reading this article. I invite you to follow me on my personal website, or on Twitter.**

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Make Yogurt At Home Thicker & Creamier (No Additives)


Make Yogurt At Home Thicker & Creamier (No Additives)
By Sharon Ray

How to make yogurt at home? But not just any yogurt, how to make delicious, thick and creamy yogurt right in your kitchen? This question can tempt your taste buds any time but the process of making it might seem daunting, a lot of times. Some of the common problems are yogurt turning out watery, runny or too sour or yogurt not setting at all! This makes most people turn to the store-bought yogurt which tastes good for sure, but with consequences.

The Additives in Store Bought Yogurt

The store-bought yogurt gets its taste and texture from a number of additives and artificial sugars which may be good to the taste but are a lot less nutritious and even bad for health sometimes. The commonly used additives for thickening are gelatin (glue made from animal bones), pectin (a bio-polymer acid, lab-made ingredient), powdered milk etc. And it is usually loaded with unhealthy sugars and artificial sweeteners that can make things really bad for people who have type 2 diabetes. While real and all-natural yogurt is actually supposed to help with many health issues, this one with the additives does just the opposite.

So, if one wants to take advantage of all the essential nutrients the yogurt can offer, it's important that it is made at home using the natural method, which is actually quite simple if you know this secret:

The Natural Method of Making Yogurt at Home

The secret to making the thickest and creamy yogurt is making it at home in a pure clay pot! Pure-clay pots are made from the highest quality natural clay (primary clay) that has no contaminants and is made by hands without using ANY additives. These pots are Non-toxic - will make sure nothing leaches into your yogurt and contaminate it, and semi-porous - allow excess water to evaporate making the yogurt thick and creamy, naturally and WITHOUT any additives.

Once you have the pot, the rest is easy:

  1. Heat the milk to just before boiling point (till small bubbles form on the surface). Turn stove off, and open lid and let it cool down for 30 mins or so, till you can put your little finger and hold it there for 5 secs. Now the milk is ready for the culture.
  2. Add yogurt culture.
  3. Set in the oven with the lid on and oven light on.
  4. Let it incubate for 6-8 hours and the yogurt is ready.

The whole process takes less than 10 minutes hands-on time and the yogurt left in the pot gets thicker and creamier within few hours after fermenting. Also, no additives or sugars are needed and there is no nutritional loss (because the heat from the walls of the pot is gentle on the food's nutritional cells). By using this natural method, you will get healthy, delicious and creamy yogurt every time!

Hi, this is Sharon Ray and I hope you enjoyed reading my article as much as I enjoyed writing it. I am a passionate healthy cook and I love to spread the word about cooking healthy. For that, you need a healthy and non-toxic cookware and I got mine from Miriams Earthen Cookware -- an All-American company that makes 100% Healthy, Green & Non-toxic cookware. Ready to make your own homemade yogurt? Get the right pot from

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How to Make Beef Stock at Home


How to Make Beef Stock at Home
By Amaka N

Home made soups are not only comforting, but are also a good source of nutrients. Virtually every country or territory have their own types of soups. Another advantage of homemade soup is that they taste better too. Especially when they are cooked with fresh natural ingredients. They can be eaten with either bread, starch or on their own, especially during winter. They are among the easiest foods to make,and packet and cube soups have nothing like the flavour and texture of their home made counterpart. Virtually any ingredients ranging from vegetables to even fruits to meat and poultry or as mixture of these can be used.

A very important ingredient in soup is the stock and making your own at home is worth the time and effort. For many people, the idea of making beef stock or any kind of stock at sounds daunting, but it need not be. It is a good way to use the fresh vegetables from your garden.Stock cubes save time and are convenient to use but should be avoided as much as possible because they tend to contain a lot of salt. Here is a simple recipe for beef stock which you can make ahead of time and store in the freezer for up to forty five days. Do note that it can only be stored in the freezer as it deteriorates quickly.

Utensils: large saucepan, slotted spoon, colander.

Ingredients: one kilogram marrow and shin bones, one large onion, two large carrots, one bouquet garni, five black peppercorns.

Procedure: ask your butcher to chop the bones into small pieces that you can handle.

Wash the bones thoroughly and place them in a large saucepan.

Add about two quarts of water to cover the bones

Add half a tablespoon of salt.

Bring to the boil and skim off any scum with the slotted spoon.

Simmer the Stock gently for two hours keeping the saucepan half covered. Be sure to skim occasionally during this time.

Peel and quarter the onion, peel and chop the carrots.

Add the onion, carrots, bouquet garni and peppercorns. Then continue simmering for another two hours adding more water if the level drops below the level of the bones.

Remove the stock from heat and strain with a colander.

Allow it to cool them skim off fat with absorbent kitchen paper. Use immediately or store it in the freezer.

This beef stock can be used when preparing vegetable soups, meats, casseroles, stews and broths.

For more recipes, go to

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How to Make Potato Chips at Home


How to Make Potato Chips at Home
By Asif Imtious Prome

We always love homemade dishes. When mom serves us food, it makes us pretty excited to taste those. It would be awesome if we make our one of the favorite snacks at home. Yeah, I am talking about potato chips. This is so delicious, crispy and great as a quick snack.

We can buy packets of potato chips of various flavor from any market. But it has preservatives which might be hazardous to our health if we take it so much. As we like to lead a healthy life, we should avoid such food ingredients. Okay, I cannot live without taking this snack because I am very fond of this snack. Of course, you are also! I discussed with my mom about this issue and she asked me not to worry anymore. Surprisingly she came back with a bowl of potato chips made by her! It tasted pretty nice and crispy.

Isn't it good to share with you such a fantastic and easy recipe for you all? Yeah, through this article, I am going to share with you how you can make this snack quickly at home.

First of all, you have to arrange for these ingredients.


  • Four potatoes.
  • Salt.
  • Cotton cloth.
  • Oil.
  • Water.

Now let's get started.


  • Pick four potatoes of medium size.
  • Make round-shape thin slices of each potato. But those potatoes should have no peel. Be careful when you do peeling of the potatoes and make slices with a knife.
  • Put all of those slices into a bowl. Pour the bowl with water. Add four teaspoon salt and stir that with a spoon. Throw away the water and have potatoes slices only in the bowl. Leave this alone for 20-30 minutes.
  • It is an interesting part! You need a piece of cotton cloth. Fill up the cloth with the potato slices and press it hard. It will soak up the water.
  • On your stove place a curved frying pan and pour oil. Now it is time to fry our chips!
  • Let's serve these crispy potato chips nicely in a bowl! You may add a little bit of salt to make it tastier.

Let's sit and watch a movie with these crispy potato chips or enjoy with afternoon and evening snacks.


  • Don't fry chips for too long. Otherwise, it might be burned.
  • These potato chips are without any extra flavor. You would get some kind of salty taste.
  • If you keep fried chips unfastened, it will limp.

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10 Ways to Use Leftover Meatloaf

10 Ways to Use Leftover Meatloaf
By Camille Bowen

Have you ever made meatloaf, and found yourself with enough left overs to last the whole week? If you're like me, I do not enjoy eating the same meal more than twice in a row, once for dinner, then lunch the next day. I discovered that a little meatloaf can go a long way, and that does not mean by sprouting legs from sitting too long in the fridge.

The following is a list of things that can be done so your family will not even recognize the meat loaf from the night before. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a good start, and may spark your own creativity.

1. Whenever you make too much of something, one option is always to divide into individual portion sizes, date, label, and freeze. You can easily grab it out for a quick meal.
2. Easy Chili: Crumble up your leftover meat loaf into a pot. Add a can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained. Add a couple cans of tomato sauce, or your choice of ground or chopped tomatoes with juice (if your tomato base is runny, add a tablespoon of cornmeal). Add a tablespoon of chili powder, half a tablespoon of seasoned salt, and half a tablespoon of brown sugar. Simmer for ½ hour and serve with cheese and sour cream if desired.
3. Shepherd's Pie: Crumble the leftover meat loaf. Stir in a can of cream of mushroom soup and half a can of water or milk. Spread into bottom of casserole dish. Add a layer of your favorite vegetable: if canned just drain and add, if fresh or frozen, cook and drain then add. Top with mashed potatoes and cook on 350 for half an hour.
4. Tater tot casserole: Prepare meat and vegetables like you would for shepherd's pie. On top of the vegetables, put a layer of chopped Velveeta or sliced American cheese. Top with tater tots and cook at 400 for 20-25 min.
5. Chip dip: Mix meat loaf with salsa and Velveeta, or similar cheese. Microwave until cheese is melted. Mix well and serve with tortilla chips.
6. Sloppy Joes: Put meat loaf into a frying pan with ketchup, mustard and barbeque sauce. Simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat. Serve with pickles on buns.
7. Patty Melts: Slice the meat loaf into medium slices (about burger thickness). On a frying pan or griddle, place a piece of buttered bread, butter side down. Place the meat loaf slice on the bread with a slice of cheese on it. Toast another piece of bread on the griddle for the top. Sauté onion rings and place on the meat loaf and cheese combination. Top with the other piece of bread and serve with desired condiments.
8. Taco Salad: Chop meat loaf in a frying pan and cook on medium heat. Add a package of taco seasoning and amount of water indicated on the package. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and tomatoes.
9. Spaghetti Sauce: Add crumbled meat loaf to a sauce pan. Add two cans of tomato sauce, ½ tablespoon Italian Seasoning, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve with your favorite cooked noodles.
10. Biscuits and gravy: Crumble meat loaf into a sauce pan and set to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir until coated. Add 2 cups of milk and stir until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over biscuits.

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An Easy Quick Recipe for Dinner Tonight - Beef Stroganoff

An Easy Quick Recipe for Dinner Tonight - Beef Stroganoff  by Diane Watkins

It seems that when its time to cook dinner, easy quick recipe ideas are hard to find. The secret to getting dinner on the table fast is planning ahead and keeping an arsenal of easy quick recipe ideas for those busy days.

This easy quick recipe features a beef stroganoff that can be on the table in less than 20 minutes. Start the noodles first, because they take the longer to cook than this Stroganoff. You want to use a tender piece of beef, cut across the grain to make sure the meat is tender. You could also use a pound of ground beef instead of the minute steaks. Just brown the beef, then finish this easy quick recipe as directed.

Sour cream is traditional in this dish, but yogurt offers a lower fat option. The flavor will be a little tangy, but delicious. You could also use a fat free sour cream. Be sure to only warm the sauce after the sour cream or yogurt is added, boiling will separate the cream and the texture of the sauce will not be rich and creamy as it should be. This easy quick dinner recipe is perfect on a busy night. Serve with hot buttered noodles and perhaps a salad or green vegetable.

Quick Beef Stroganoff

3 minute steaks, cut into 1/2 inch strips
2 Tablespoons oil
1 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
3 ounce can of mushrooms
2 Tablespoons catsup
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Brown the steak strips in the oil. Add the onion and garlic. Stir fry for 5 minutes until onion is translucent. Combine remaining ingredients, add to meat. Heat on low temperature until flavors blend. (Do not boil.) Serve this easy quick Beef Stroganoff over buttered noodles.

Do you need more quick and easy dinner recipes complete with menu suggestions and shopping lists? Join our newsletter list for more quick dinner recipe ideas like this one. Easy Quick Recipe Ideas at Easy Southern Cooking.

Diane Watkins is a traditional southern style cook. She enjoys cooking, teaching, and writing about good food and family. Easy Southern Cooking.

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Secret Restaurant Chili Recipe - Three Bean Enchilada Chili

Secret Restaurant Chili Recipe - Three Bean Enchilada Chili by Donna Hager

This chili restaurant recipe is a secret restaurant recipe called "Three Bean Enchilada Chili." This chili recipe is somewhat unusual because it uses a secret restaurant enchilada sauce instead of tomatoes and the enchilada sauce contains a secret ingredient as well.

Three Bean Enchilada Chili - three times the flavor plus secret ingredients that makes this a secret chili restaurant recipe!

This chili restaurant recipe is a secret restaurant recipe because it specifically calls for Ancho chile powder, and it does make a difference. And this chili recipe is also somewhat unusual because it uses a secret restaurant enchilada sauce instead of tomatoes!

The Ancho is a dried poblano chile which is then ground into powder. Ancho chiles have a mild, fruity and slightly sweet taste. They start out as fresh green poblano chiles and after being ripened to red and then dried, they become shriveled, smoky and dark brown in color. Left to dry, the chiles can be crushed and made into spice powder or used to season chili and other Mexican dishes such as mole and tacos.

I created this recipe at home, tested it on my husband and then tried it at my restaurant after my husband raved about it and encouraged me to do so. My restaurant customer were pleased he asked me to do so. It is now a favorite restaurant chili recipe.

Three Bean Enchilada Chili Recipe
Chili Restaurant Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes for preparing the sauce. Serves 6-8.

1-2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef, ground chuck or other meat such as chopped chuck steak or even chicken or pork
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup red, green or yellow bell pepper, chopped
8 cups of my enchilada sauce (recipe below)
One 15-16 ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
One 15-16 ounce can red or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
One 15-16 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon Ancho chile powder (use Ancho - it makes a difference and makes this a secret restaurant recipe)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1 cup (or to taste) Cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup (or to taste) Green onions, chopped

Heat oil in a 3-4 quart soup pot over medium-high heat, add meat and cook until beginning to brown
Add the onions and peppers and cook until crisp-tender (4-5 minutes), stirring occasionally
Drain meat mixture, add my enchilada sauce, beans and spices and bring to boil
Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until meat is tender (if using chopped meat) and flavors are blended
Correct seasoning to your taste
Ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded cheese and green onions and tortilla chips if you like

Serve with cornbread or warm tortillas and enjoy!

Enchilada Sauce
Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves 6-8.

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, olive oil or bacon drippings
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground oregano
2 tablespoons chile powder (Ancho chile powder, if you have it)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (I sometimes use taco sauce)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional
4 cups beef stock

Heat oil or bacon drippings in a skillet over low heat and saute the garlic, flour and oregano until golden in color
Add chile powder, 1 cup of beef stock, tomato paste and simmer for 2-3 minutes
Add remaining stock, salt, white pepper and cayenne
Simmer for 20-30 minutes
Correct seasoning

TA-DA! You're done!

Enjoy your Three Bean Enchilada Chili made with this delicious enchilada sauce and the company of those you share it with.

Donna Hager has owned and operated an American-style restaurant for over two decades. More articles and hundreds of recipes can be found on her website that features real restaurant recipes, menus, cooking tips, and much more at Real Restaurant Recipes

Donna is also the author of the new e-cookbook, "Real Restaurant Recipes: Food That Built a Business"

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When It's Cold Outside - It's Chili

When It's Cold Outside - It's Chili by Donna Hager

There are as many different kinds of chili as there are cooks. Will the history of chili tell us where chili originated and what chili recipe is the best?

Actually, I love chili anytime of the year, but during cold weather it is especially good, or as the novelist Margaret Cousins said, "Chili is not so much food as it is a state of mind. Addictions to it are formed early in life and the victims never recover. On cold, blue days in October, I get this passionate yearning for a bowl of chili, and I nearly lose my mind."

There are probably thousands of different chili recipes and I enjoy making and eating a variety of chili recipes. For me, it is a great food adventure. And although I may have my personal favorites, such as my version of a traditional chili, I really don't get too excited if someone else has his favorite that is much different than mine.

Some people like it spicy and hot and some prefer it mildly spiced. Some cooks use ground beef while others insist that the beef should be chopped. There are chili recipes that use chicken, turkey, pork, venison or other rather exotic meats. Some chili recipes use beer or meat stocks as part or all of the cooking liquid.

There are many vegetarian versions of chili as well. The use of vegetable stock and/or tomatoes eliminates the need for meat.

What kinds of beans, if any, should be in a chili? Here, too, you'll find a vast range of preferences. Pinto beans, red beans, kidney beans, black beans or white beans - there are recipes that use each or them or even a combination of several. But you should also know that there were no beans in chili originally!

What kind of chile peppers or chili seasoning should be used and how much? With this the great chili debate really heats up - so to speak. ( Chile refers to the pepper pod. Chili to the creation. )

And the great chili debate is not limited to what chili or chili recipe is best. Some people are so passionate about where the first bowl was made and who made it that they nearly come to blows.

In America, chili is something many people love to cook and eat, and some love to argue about. My Texas friends will undoubtedly defend their chili as the best ( and maybe the only true chili) in the world.

In his book, "Simple Cooking," John Thorpe wrote, "It can only truly be Texas red if it walks the thin line just this side of indigestibility: Damning the mouth that eats it and defying the stomach to digest it, the ingredients are hardly willing to lie in the same pot together."

What is amazing to me, however, is that even among residents of Texas there is disagreement as to the single best chili recipe. That has helped keep "chili cookoffs" alive and well, not only in Texas, but in a number of areas throughout the country. I have never desired to be a chili judge. If their life isn't in jeopardy, their digestive systems may be. When my husband once thought about accepting an invitation to judge such a contest I told him he'd sleep outside that night if he did. He declined the invitation to be a judge, thank goodness.

Is there such a thing as "the original Texas chili?" The history of chili is very unclear about this. There is a recipe that is at least traceable to a cattle range cook, or perhaps it was from the combined offerings of several old cowboys straddled up to a Texas bar. Nobody will swear that this is the first true Texas chili recipe, but most say it seems pretty close. Notice beans.

Chili con Carne Recipe
An "Original" Chili Recipe

Cut up as much meat as you think you will need (any kind will do, but beef is probably best) in pieces about the size of a pecan
Put it in a pot, along with some suet (fat) enough so as the meat won't stick to the sides of the pot
Cook it with about the same amount of wild onions, garlic, oregano, and chiles as you have got meat
Put in some salt
Stir it from time to time and cook it until the meat is as tender as you think it's going to get.

Some chili recipes today are rather "tame" or mild because that is the way some people like it. But the history of chili is pretty clear that there never was anything really mild about chili and there was a very good reason.

Think about it. Even if chili did not originate in Texas, the cattle drives and range cooks certainly helped popularize it.

On the trail, the cook used what meat he had available. If if wasn't fresh-killed beef or buffalo or deer then it was likely jackrabbit or rattlesnake. The range cook certainly feared his own lynching if he tried to feed the cow hands freshly killed beef or buffalo without aging the meat. Out of necessity he had to attempt to disguise the meat's flavor and for this he used what he had on hand: onions, garlic, salt and chile peppers. The range cook also knew that spices helped keep the meat from spoiling. Chili became the meal of the day. And the term "Chili con Carne" is Spanish for "peppers and meat." (See, no beans.)

Some food experts and historians say that San Antonio should be given credit for popularizing chili because it was there that women called "Chili Queens" occupied parts of the Military Plaza and sold their highly seasoned stews called "chili" from small carts. Although these ladies sold chili from carts for many years, it became very popular by 1880. In fact the plaza became known as "La Plaza del Chile con Carne."

And it was then that the "Queens" began to refine and add sophistication to the dish they were selling. They brought it somewhere near todays stage because each one was constantly striving to improve her chili recipe, simply to attract more customers than any of the competition. The desire to cook up the best bowl of chili in the world is at least that old. Apparently chili cookoffs were born.

Here is an example of a Chili Queen's recipe: (Again, no beans)

Chili Queen's Recipe
Original San Antonio Chili

2 pounds beef shoulder, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 pound pork shoulder, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup suet (fat from meat, 1/4 cup beef fat, 1/4 cup pork fat)
3 medium-sized onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart water
4 ancho chiles
1 serrano chile
6 dried red chiles
1 tablespoon comino seeds, freshly ground (cumin)
2 tablespoons Mexican oregano
Salt to taste

Place lightly floured beef and pork cubes in the pork and beef fat in a heavy chili pot and cook quickly, stirring often
Add onions and garlic and cook until they are tender and limp
Add water to mixture and simmer slowly while preparing chiles
Remove stems and seeds from chiles and chop very finely
Grind chiles in molcajete and add oregano with salt to mixture
Simmer another 2 hours
Remove fat pieces and skim off some fat
Never cook frijoles with chiles and meat
Serve as separate dish.
(Institute of Texan Cultures)

So where was chili invented? Again the history of chili simply indicates there may not be an answer. We know that peppers and spices have existed since the beginning of time. Chile peppers show up in the ancient foods of China, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Caribbean, France, and the Arab states. The green chile pepper was brought to what is now New Mexico in 1598. And strangely enough, Canary Islanders who came to San Antonio as early as 1723 used local peppers, wild onions, garlic, and other spices to cook pungent meat dishes somewhat like the ones they prepared in their native land.

But it is reasonably clear how chili was popularized. The credit must go to the cattle trail cooks and certainly to the Chili Queens of San Antonio.

As a food, how important is chili to certain parts of American life and culture? The famous mountain man, Kit Carson, thought of chili when he supposedly uttered his dying words: "Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili."

Will we ever be able to crown one single recipe as the best? I don't believe so, and that's fine with me. I think everyone has great fun trying to do so.

The history of chili and its development makes me believe the great chili debate is destined to continue forever.

Click on Three Bean Enchilada Chili for a very special, secret chili restaurant recipe.

Click on Traditional Chili, to access a favorite restaurant chili recipe.

Donna Hager has owned and operated an American-style restaurant for over two decades. More articles and hundreds of recipes can be found on her website that features real restaurant recipes, menus, cooking tips, and much more at Real Restaurant Recipes

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Quick Dinner Recipe - Baked Ham Steak with Pineapple

Quick Dinner Recipe - Baked Ham Steak with Pineapple by Diane Watkins

Are you often rushed in the evenings? Finding it hard to get dinner on the table and still have time for the important things in life? A few easy quick dinner recipe ideas, combined with a little planning will make cooking dinner a pleasure again.

Look for recipes that are simple-with minimum preparation, then let your oven or slow cooker do the work. This recipe features an easy preparation, then cooks quickly in only 20 minutes in the oven while you fix a salad and warm some dinner rolls. Baked Ham Steak with Pineapple is a quick dinner recipe than can help solve tonight's dinner crisis.

You will find these pre-sliced ham steaks vacuum packed in the meat department of your grocery. Sizes range from 1 to 2 pounds. This recipe calls for 1 1/2 pound, but choose a steak that will serve your family. If it is much smaller, then cook for a little less time. This serves 4 generously.

Quick Dinner Recipe: Baked Ham Steak with Pineapple

1 1/2 pound ham steak
1 can pineapple rings
brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Trim off or slice through the fat on the edge of the ham in several places to prevent curling in the pan.
3. Place the ham steak in a shallow ovenproof pan and place the pineapple slices on top. Pour the pineapple juice over all.
4. Place the ham steak in the oven and bake for 20 minutes (uncovered).
5. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven up to broil.
6. Baste the ham with the pan juices. Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the pineapple slices and dust with cinnamon.
7. Return to oven and broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the pineapple is lightly browned. Serve each ham steak with a pineapple slice.

Serve with a tossed salad and dinner rolls for an easy quick dinner recipe solution. I hope that this menu will find its way onto your table soon.

Do you need more healthy quick dinner recipe ideas complete with menu suggestions and shopping lists? Join our newsletter list for more healthy quick dinner recipe ideas like this one at Quick Dinner Recipe Ideas From Easy Southern Cooking.

Diane Watkins is a busy cook, teacher, and mother. She enjoys cooking and writing about cooking at Easy Southern Cooking.

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