MEXICAN HOT CHOCOLATE BRITTLE

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1 1/2 Sticks of Butter

1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar

1 1/2 Sleeves Saltines

1 C. Chocolate Chips

1/2 Tbsp. Chili Powder

1/4 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper

1/4 Tbsp. Cinnamon

1/4 Tbsp. Dried Oregano

White Sugar to taste

Salt to taste

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1. Line baking sheet with tin foil. Spray with cooking spray. Line with Saltines.

2. Melt butter on medium low, whisk with chocolate, Cayenne, Chili powder, Cinnamon and salt.

3. Spread mixture over saltines with spatula. Crush Saltines and sprinkle with White Sugar and Oregano over top

4. Place tray into refrigerator (at least 20 min.) – break into pieces 

CRISPY GARBANZO BEANS

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Great for snacking or as a salad/dessert topping – this snack is relatively easy and versatile.

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1 – Drain and rinse 2-3 cans garbanzo beans.

2 – Pat dry with a paper towel

3 – Toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1-2 tbsp. of your desired seasoning… Some options are:

      – dried onion + garlic     – sea salt + pepper         – cinnamon + sugar          

      – yellow curry powder   - dried herbs + parmesan   – cajun seasoning          

      – barbecue seasoning            – taco seasoning       – Hidden Valley Ranch

4 – Line baking sheet with tin foil, spray with cooking spray or line with olive oil. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes. Toss half way through. Some seasonings can be added afterward as well.  

FIRE-ROASTED TOMATO SOUP

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INGREDIENTS

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4 tbsp. olive oil

1 white onion

3 cloves garlic

2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes

1/2 cup grape tomatoes

4 cups vegetable stock

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. white sugar

italian seasoning (to taste)

salt + pepper

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Brown onion and garlic until sweet. (approx. 10-15 min.) Add vegetable stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for up to 2 hours. Puree ingredients in a food processor.  

CREAMY POTATO LEAK SOUP

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In a large pot, sautee 5-6 potatoes – chopped, skins on – with 2 large leaks, rinsed and chopped for about 15 minutes. Season with liberal amounts of salt and pepper and crushed red pepper to taste. Add 3 cups water and 1 1/2 cans low sodium chicken stock. Add 5-6 cloves garlic – rough chopped. Boil until ingredients are tender  and puree in a blender. Add 1/2 pint half & half – keep on low heat until warmed all the way through – garnish with fresh parsley, oregano, toasted pumpkin seeds, or cinnamon toast croutons. 

BOURBON CHILI

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Sautee 1 Red Pepper, 2 Green Peppers, 1 Pablano Pepper, 1 Red Onion, and 1 Vadalia Onion in olive oil and a tbsp. slab of butter. Meanwhile, brown 1 lb. ground turkey in a separate skillet, add 1/2 package taco seasoning and dried oregano to taste.  After vegetables are caramelized, add the ground turkey with 1 1/4 cups Bourbon, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1/2 cup Orange Juice, 1 can black beans, 1 can dark red kidney beans, 1 can tomato paste, and 2 cans diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted). Season with 1/2 package taco seasoning, 1 tsp. white sugar, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 1 tsp. chili powder and salt & pepper to taste. 

FUJI APPLE STUFFED PEPPERS

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Halve and core 4-6 red or green peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, sautee 1 shallot, 1 white onion, 1 apple, 4 cloves garlic and any leftovers from the pepper tops. Add salt and paprika to taste. Brown 1 lb. hamburger – add pinch of cinnamon and allspice. Combine mixture and add to peppers (top with cheddar and Italian seasoning) – bake at 300 for an additional 10 minutes.  

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

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A simple little dish with such wonderful flavor: tart, crispy, salty… Take 2-3 green tomatoes and slice them about 1/4″ thick. Dip in whisked egg and seasoned bread crumbs. Fry in olive oil on medium high heat. Add salt. That’s it… You can eat them as is or put them in a Cobb Salad… Dip them in ranch dressing… Eat them on toasted bread with marinara…. They are surprisingly complex for such a simple recipe.

Gazpacho

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1. Quarter 6-8 tomatoes, add olive oil and salt to taste. Pulse to a thick liquid in food processor.

2. Halve 1 cucumber, deseed and rough chop. Quarter 1 green pepper and deseed, pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Add to tomato base.

3. Mince 3 cloves garlic, add to mixture.

4. Add pinch of white sugar (agave nectar, honey, etc. can be used to substitute), 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, and other seasonings which will balance out the sweetness (I used smoked sea salt and paprika).

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Chill, until ready to serve. Garnish with lime wedge and cilantro.