Posts Tagged ‘comfort food’

Since I took off last week from my “Foodie Friday” post I am going to grace all your palates with two recipes and one will include chocolate and peanut butter cups!  Yes, I thought that would get your attention!

Pie’s What Do You Do With the Leftover Grill Night Chili

When Camp Pie Hole decides to grill we throw a good-sized tri tip or hearty steaks on the ‘ol grill and end up with leftovers.  I take those leftovers and vacuum seal them and pop them in the freezer and when I am wanting to place a little hearty fire on our menu I pull it out and make a quick and easy chili that tastes like you have been cooking all day!

 In a dutch oven/cast iron pot (large soup pot if you don’t have either) add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and heat.  Once heated add 2 gloves of diced garlic, 1/2 white onion diced, 1 cup of frozen diced bell peppers and 1 cup of frozen corn.  Add 1/2 tbsp  of salt and pepper.  Saute until thawed and onions are transparent. * You can use fresh veggies instead of frozen.  I just prep fresh veggies and freeze them for making recipes quicker.

Cut and dice 2 large jalapeno.  You can either seed them or for extra heat keep the seeds.  I like the heat so I seed one and keep the seeds in the other.  Place in chili mixture

Cube grilled red meat (in this recipe I used left over Tri-Tip) About 2-3 cups and add to vegetable mixture and brown.  * We tend to make our meat medium rare so when adding this meat to the chili stock allows the meat to cook without getting over done and adds more flavor.

Cook until meat is browning and warmed through 

Add drained and rinsed canned beans.  2 cans of pinto beans, 1 can of black beans, 1 can of red kidney beans and 1 can of garbanzo beans.  I usually just place in a strainer and rinse one can at a time.  Mix together.


Add 1 can of diced tomatoes,  2 cans of tomato sauce, 2 tbsp of chili powder,  1 tbsp of garlic powder, additional salt and pepper to personal taste ( The beans tomato sauce and tomatoes have added sodium. BE CAREFUL TO NOT OVER SEASON)  Mix together well and add water to meet a consistence of a spoon being able to stand in it independently.  Cover on low- medium low  heat  (a nice slow simmer) for about 40 -45 minutes.

Top with cheese, sour cream and fresh cilantro and onions and serve with corn bread or tortillas.  Left overs make great chili dogs!


2 tbsp of vegetable oil

1/2 white onion

2 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tbsp of salt (use soft hand and taste tests before using full amounts)

1 1/2 tbsp of pepper

1 cup sliced/diced bell peppers (red, green, yellow) frozen or fresh

1 cup of corn frozen or fresh

2 large fresh  jalapeno

2-3 cups diced grilled red meat (tri-tip, steaks, brisket)

2 cans of pinto beans

1 can of black beans

1 can of red kidney beans

1 can of garbanzo beans

1 can of diced tomatoes

2 cans of tomato sauce

2 tbsp of chili powder

1 tbsp of garlic powder

1/2 – 1 cup water

Yields 8-10 servings

Total time (including prep): 1 hour 30 minutes

Prep time: 30 minutes


Pie’s  Creamy Peanut Butter Cup Brownies


Being a home cook comes with its challenges and one of the challenges I have is I am not a baker.  I have to work at coming up with successful recipes that I don’t flop miserably when it comes to the baking department.  There is a lot of “R&D” that happens in Camp Pie Hole’s kitchen and when I finally get it right, I get it right!  This is a quick and easy way to get away from the “boxed brownie mixes” and produce brownies that people will be talking about well after they are gone.  Hey, who does not love cream cheese, peanut butter and chocolate!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl add 2 eggs, 3/4 cups sugar, 1 tbsp of vanilla, 1/2 cup of soften cubed cream cheese, 1/2 cup melted butter (cool to warm so you don’t scramble your eggs – usually takes a few minutes to cool).  Mix well.  It is ok if the cream cheese gets lumpy.

Add 3/4 cups of good quality sweet ground chocolate and cocoa mixture (Ghirardelli has a good product).  If you can’t find that.  Grind 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate with 1/4 cup cocoa in a food processor for the 3/4 cups.  2/3 cups flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt (if use unsalted butter). Hand mix well.  Should be a thick consistency.

Chop up around 10-15 peanut butter cups (I tend to use Trader Joe’s peanut butter cups)

Fold in chopped peanut butter cups.

Spread into a greased 8″-9″ pan/dish (I prefer glass).  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.



2 eggs

3/4 cups sugar

1 tsp of vanilla

1/2 cup of melted butter (cooled to “warm”)

1/2 cup of cream cheese soften to room temperature

3/4 cup of good quality Sweet ground Chocolate and Cocoa (Ghiradelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa) If you can’t find product see above directions for substitute.

2/3 cup flour

1/4 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp of salt (if used unsalted butter)

10 miniature peanut butter cups

Yields: 16- 20 brownies

Time: 40- 50 minutes (includes 20 minute prep time)

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 Pie’s Shepherd’s Pie

It is cold and I am pulling out all the stops when it comes to comfort food! Since it is March, why not embrace a bit of the ‘ol luck of the Irish roots I have along with making an easy one-pot meal with a few quick elements added to have a home-cooked value in an hour!    

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large oven safe cook pot (dutch oven), brown ground beef with 1/2 diced onion and 2 cloves of diced garlic.  Add 1/2 tbsp of Kosher salt and 1/4 tbsp of black pepper.  Drain only 1/2 of the excess fat. This will help establish a nice rich gravy. 

.  Heat should be at a simmer: Add 16 oz of beef broth/stock, 1 can of cream of mushroom soup,  2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp of butter and about half of the 1/4 cup of flour.  Stir constantly for about 1- 2  minute until flour is dissolved and  NOT forming dumplings.  It should thicken. 

Add 1-1/2 cups of the following frozen vegetables – corn, carrots, peas, green beans.  Keep at a simmer level so you will need to increase heat.   Once veggies are defrosted and warmed through (about 5 minutes) add additional flour.  Stir for about another 1-2 minutes.  The consistency should be thick enough it can support a standing spoon for at few seconds.   Turn down heat and cover.

Peel, dice and cook 8-10 potatoes. I normally just put them in a large glass brown and microwave them for about 15-20 minutes. Or you can boil the potatoes the traditional way.   Drain water from cooked potatoes, add 2 table spoons of butter, 1/2 tbsp of Kosher salt, 1/4 tbsp of pepper and 2 tsp of milk.  Mash to a semi-lumpy consistency. 

Fold in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. 

Add 1 cup of shredded cheese to the thickened base

Spread potatoe mixture over the top of the melting cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees or until the potatoes start to brown and the cheese is melted and the gravy is bubbly. 



1-1/2 lbs of ground beef

1/2 white onion

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon of Kosher salt

1/2 tablespoon of black pepper

16 oz of beef stock (can substitute chicken or vegetable stock)

2 teaspoons of Worcestershire Sauce (a little goes a long way, be careful not to over season with this)

1 can of cream of mushroom soup

4 tablespoons of butter

1/4 cup of flour (you may need more or less depending on how you get to your correct consistency)

1 cup of frozen corn

1 cup of frozen peas

1 cup of frozen green beans (I did find a  green been combination of green and yellow “green” beans)

1 cup of frozen carrots (I did find a frozen carrot combination of yellow and orange carrots)

8-10 medium potatoes, peeled, diced and boiled

1 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons milk

*Yields about  6-8  large and hearty servings

Time: 1 hour total time:  30 minutes of hands on time. 30 minutes of oven time.

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So I love cook!  OK,  I am in love with cooking.  Since this blog is an extension of me, I thought it would be a fun idea to add a post a week on a recipe of what I got cookin’ over here at Camp Pie Hole – hence the birth of Foodie Fridays. This is also a great venue to dust off the old camera and start embracing a little still life photography that does not cry, run or hide on me.   I hope that it brings you an appetite and a desire to get in the kitchen and reap the rewards of some good eatin’. 

First on the Foodie Friday’s Menu is an oldie but goodie re-created in the Pie Hole kitchen.  This is a recipe that warms the soul and brings back the kid in you and will be something that you can get your kids to eat. 

Pie Hole’s Frito Pie!

First pre-heat over at 375 degrees.

Combine ground meat, canned of drained beans, 1 cup of corn, 1/2 stuck of Velveeta cubed, canned diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup of salsa verde, 1/2 cup of olives sliced, 1 package of taco seasoning in bowl.

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray and spread a layer of Fritos, about half of the bag.

Pour the bowl of combined ingredients over the top of the layer of Fritos and spread out evenly.

Top the combined ingredients with the remaining Fritos.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mexican blend shredded cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes and then remove cover and continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned and Fritos are nice and crispy. 

Bon Appetite!


1 bag of Frito Chips

1 lb of browned ground meat.

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of black beans

1/2 cup olives sliced

1 cup of frozen corn

1/4 cup of salsa verde

1 package of taco seasoning

1/2 cup of Mexican Shredded Cheese

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Last weekend Camp Pie Hole kicked off the fall season!  I have to say this is the beginning of my favorite time of year.  I do wish I lived in a place that had four actual seasons, but I make the best of that and embrace what bit of a seasonal change we get.  Fall is the inspiration for Pie Hole’s Top Ten.

10.  We are in the midst of our Indian Summer! The days are warm, the Santa Ana’s are beginning to blow and the evenings are cool and crisp. 

9.    Harvest Festivals!

8.  All my shows are back from summer hiatus and each day my DVR welcomes me with many options of GOOD TV.

7.  Wine tasting at the vineyards!

6.  Even though it is HOT outside I embrace comfort food – pot roast, chili, apple muffins (from our tree), anything pumpkin, red wine and freshly baked bread!

5.  Costco, Lowe’s, Home Depot and most other retailers are beginning to seductively set up Christmas.  I call this Holiday foreplay!

4.  I have 90% of my Christmas shopping already done!

3.  The holiday catalogues are starting to bombard me!  LOVE IT!  Now I have to wrestle my two and half-year old over them!  I am rasing her well!

2.  Even though I hate football, it is nice to know it is there – it is the true sign that fall has arrived!

1.  The beginning of the crazy wild-eyed side of humanity who is gearing up for another season of running around acting like a “Jack”, ” Jenny” or “Hinny”, losing all perspective of selflessness and courtesy in the spirit of the holidays.  I am anticipating this time with a full “giddy” approach.  The material I am going to get will be priceless!

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