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Choose & Enjoy: ‘The Via Times Delicious Treasures’


By: Sarah


Hey friends! Here we go, out the warm and in with the cold…yes indeed, the BER months are here. The festive songs of Mariah Carey and Jose Mari Chan we now hear remind us to get ready for the Christmas joys (and sharing gifts). And it’s the time to try new foods, new recipes. What!!! Recipes, oh yes, you can never have too many recipes. I collect cookbooks, I scour the internet for recipe ideas, I watch you tube cooking videos, I enroll in online cooking and baking classes. I just love recipes. And for Ms. Veronica Leighton to welcome me to share recipes in the Via Times Magazine, I am forever grateful. The many years (so many years, omg) of food writing and sharing delectable and easy-to-make recipes are precious, and this wealth of food sharing should not be lost and/or forgotten. So with patience and perseverance, about 200 of my favorite recipes from Chicago Philippine Reports TV and the Via Times Magazine are now included in my perfectly named cookbook, THE VIA TIMES DELICIOUS TREASURES. Printed and ready for browsing…I have your cravings covered. Sometimes it feels like we run out of things to cook and bake, in this book you have lots to choose and enjoy. Many thanks to Ms. Veronica Leighton for her awesome introduction to the published “dream” cookbook…and really loving and enjoying my yummy offerings. So don your aprons and have fun again in the kitchen…it is always rewarding and satisfying. Nothing can compare to what we make at home…from ordinary ingredients to extraordinary meals. Make everyday a good day to share something delicious!

You’ll love this delicious twist on a classic chili made with butternut squash, and it’s ready in just an hour and 15 minutes. So perfect to enjoy with friends and family during this chilly season. Interesting combination of spices for that robust flavor and paired with homemade cornbread…Enjoy!

“sophisticated” BUTTERNUT SQUASH CHILI It’s cold…this intensely loaded chili is what you need for dinner, giving your taste buds that spicy thrill. Storage: airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Chili mac/chili cheese dogs, oh yes!

1 pound of ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 green bell pepper seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
2 – 2 1/2 cups water or chicken broth
2 cans (15 1/4 oz each) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups peeled, seeded and cubed butternut squash
1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled cubed

GARNISHES: Sour cream, shredded cheese, lime wedges, diced avocado, and tortilla chips

In a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat brown ground beef with onions, salt and pepper; remove from pan and drain grease. Saute minced garlic and chopped green bell pepper in canila oil until soft. Return ground beef to pot and diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir in seasonings and water or chicken broth. Bring the chili mixture to a boil while stirring. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the chili, covered partially, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the kidney beans and butternut squash. Continue simmering for 45 minutes or just until squash and sweet potatoes are very tender. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Serve warm, with desired garnish/es. Of course, don’t forget to serve with corn bread.

Easy Corn Bread
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups corn meal
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten

Heat oven to 400 F. Grease and lined with parchment paper 13 9 inch pan. Combine dry ingredients. Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown and wooden pic inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm.

Variation: Corn Muffins Pour batter into 12 greased or paper- lined medium muffin cups. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.


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