Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Filtering by Category: "Chili"

Homemade Salsa

Ahhhh Summer, one of my favorite times of year. The smell of fresh cut grass and bbq's in the air. This past weekend we had a cookout for Mother's Day, well a cook-in since the weather didn't cooperate. I had a craving the whole week for salsa and when asked if I was bringing anything to the party I figured, what the heck, I'll bring some salsa! There is just no comparison between homemade salsa and store bought, the freshness factor just makes it so much more flavorful. The best part?? It literally takes 10 min to make, win-win in my book! 

  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes w/ Juice
  • 2 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel, diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 whole Jalapeno, sliced 
  • 1/4 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced 

This is quite a large batch of salsa, which is great for a party. Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (I actually charred the outside of the Jalapeno's first with a blowtorch to give it some smokey-ness, this is of course optional). Transfer with a spoon to a food processor bowl, depending on the size of your food processor you'll have to do a few batches. Pulse 10-15 times until you get a nice consistency. Transfer to a container and repeat until you have used all the mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving or can it for delicious salsa all year long!

**Note: If you want your salsa to be less spicy, remove some of the jalapeno seeds and membrane...that's where all the heat is**

Song of the Recipe

I have always loved Pearl Jam and when Eddie Veder released this solo album, it definitely made me curious. But, it's an awesome album and made me fall in love with the Ukulele. This whole album is perfect for patio sitting & margarita drinking! 

Cajun Sweet Potato Soup

I have been in a soup kind of mood lately, as you can tell with my back to back soup posts. Since I didn't have time to celebrate Mardi Gras last weekend, I decided to honor it this past weekend with this delicious Cajun Sweet Potato soup. It's creamy, sweet and has a nice kick of heat at the end with the hot sauce and sausage (in my case chorizo). Then for the side I made a Charred Cajun Bruschetta. Bon Appétit!

  • 1 Lbs Andouille or Chorizo sausage
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 large onion; diced
  • 1/2 red pepper; diced
  • 4-5 ribs celery; diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic; minced
  • 1.5 quarts chicken stock
  • 2 large sweet potatoes; diced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup spinach; chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley; chopped
  • 1/4 cup chives; chopped
  • Hot Sauce; to taste
  • Salt & Pepper; to taste

In a large stock pot, brown sausage links until cooked through. Remove, wrap in tin foil and reserve.

Add butter to the pot and melt, add flour in with butter and whisk to make a roux. Add in onions, celery, red pepper and garlic, saute until soft. Once vegetables are soft, add in warm stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add in sweet potatoes, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.

Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Return soup to the stock pot and mix in cream, chives, parsley, spinach and hot sauce (to taste). Dice sausage links into large chunks and mix into the soup. season with salt and pepper (to taste) and serve warm. 


Slow-Cooker Chili

Everybody has their own chili recipe, so this is nothing special. I'm not intending on changing the way you make your chili or saying that mine is better than yours. This is just the way I like it, nice and spicy. It wasn't until recent that I started making my own chili, my mom used to always make it. When I was perusing google looking at the vast varieties of Chili recipes I came up with what I like in mine, which turned out to be very similar to Lee's (my girlfriend) mom's recipe...so it worked out perfectly. This recipe is also intended to kick off my next couple weeks of super bowl party recipes. Bon Appétit!

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 Jalapeno’s, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese, for garnish


In a skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the next nine ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish individual servings with cheese if desired.

**Note: if you want a spicier chili use Rotel Diced Tomatoes and Chili’s & Rotel Spicy Tomato Sauce**

Prices may change.

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