Sunday, March 2, 2008

Smoky Chicken Chili by Mary Choate

2 poblano chile peppers, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans zesty chili-style diced tomatoes
3 cups shredded or chopped smoked chicken (about 1 lb.)
1 (16 oz.) can navy beans
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (12 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth
1 (1.25 oz.) envelope white chicken chili seasoning mix

Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges, baby corn, sliced black olives, chopped red onion, tortilla chips

Saute first 4 ingredients in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in diced tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat ot low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour. Serve with desired toppings.

Melba's note: My friend Mary Choate got this recipe from Southern Living. Mary is one of the most wonderful people I know. She had me over on Friday night because she knew Sammie had just left town. She made this and it was delicious! I got to hang out, playing games, with her husband Nick and awesome daughters Jessie and Nicole. Jessie's boyfriend, Steve, was there too. It made me feel so cool that they wanted to hang out with me! I slept over and the next morning, Nick made a big pancake breakfast. YUM! I love them!!

Strawberry Custard Torte

1 package (18 ¼ oz) yellow cake mix
1/3 cup sugar
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup milk
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 TBSP butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 carton (12 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 package (1 lb) frozen sweetened sliced strawberries, thawed and drained
Sliced fresh strawberries and mint leaves, optional

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using 2 greased and floured 9 in round baking pans. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In sauce pan combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt; gradually stir in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Place half of the shipped topping in a bowl, add strawberries. Split each cake into two horizontal layers; place one layer on a serving plate. Spread with half of the strawberry mixture. Top with a second cake layer, spread with custard. Add third layer; spread with remaining strawberry mixture. Top with remaining cake and whipped topping. Refrigerate overnight. Garnish with strawberries and mint if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

Lora says: I hope that you had a very happy birthday. In honor of your birthday I am sending you my favorite cake recipe. I make it for my birthday every year. I use one big heart shaped cake pan so I omit the two strawberry whipped creamed layers and just 1 1/2 times the custard recipe. I've attached a picture of what the heart shaped cake looks like. Because we are so far away I figured this would be the best way to share cake with you on your birthday!

Melba's note: Lora, I wish you could have been here, too! We could have had another triple birthday babe's blowout like we did in 2001! Oh the memories...