Monday, November 7, 2011

Fiesta Chili Mac and a Halloween Party!

Another busy weekend is behind us! We decided to let our oldest celebrate her birthday a couple weeks in advance just so she could have a Halloween party. It was a lot of fun and I think all the girls enjoyed it.

We had a hard time figuring out what kind of cake to make for her party, I think she forgets that I'm not Cake Boss! I got to make her a pumpkin shaped chocolate chip cookie cake and then she of course (along with every other 12 year old) wanted a Justin Bieber cake. I had a lot of fun making these for her and I know she appreciated them.

One of the activities I had planned for them was bobbing for apples. I remember doing this as a kid and they got a kick out of it.

Okay, on to the food now. I made this dish for dinner one night last week, it's something that our family enjoys quite frequently. It's actually a Pampered Chef recipe (I'm also a consultant with their company) and it's typically made in our Deep Covered Baker, The covered baker is a piece of stoneware that allows you to cook food in the microwave or oven. I can put all of my ingredients for this recipe and let the microwave do all the work while having supper on my table in 30 mins. Or I like to cook my chicken breasts in here and it only takes me 8 mins. in the microwave. Alright, enough with the sales pitch....just had to give some background info.

I wanted to adapt this to a stovetop meal because I know not everyone has a piece of stoneware like the baker. It's something that I know your family will love and it's one of those meals that can be made in the same pan so you're not dirting lots of dishes.

I apologize for my picture, it might not look real appetizing but it's seriously good stuff! Everyone in our family gobbles it down and it makes for good leftovers the next day. You should have most ingredients on hand which I love and you can use any type of noodle you have on hand. I normally use penne pasta but all I had was rotini and it worked just fine. Serve this along side a salad or a lot of times we just enjoy this by itself. It's definitely filling enough!

Fiesta Chili Mac

1 medium onion (I don't normally use onion since my hubby doesn't like them)
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
8 oz. penne pasta, cooked (use whatever you have on hand)
1- 14.5 oz. can beef broth
1 1/2 cups chunky salsa
1 medium green pepper
1 cup, frozen corn, thawed
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Brown ground beef in large skillet with onion. Drain grease. Add chili powder, cumin and salt. Mix well. Either in a large baking dish or in the same skillet that you cooked the meat (if it's oven safe) add in the cooked pasta, broth and salsa, green pepper, corn and 3/4 cup of shredded cheese to beef mixture, mix well. Place into a 350 degree oven and heat for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with additional cheese, return to oven for another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

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