Archive for Food

Joe’s Chili

I’m fairly confident that this is the first beef recipe I’ve ever shared with you all.

Yep – I just checked.  This is the first one, and it’s not even mine… it’s Joe’s.  Clearly, I have never tried this, but it smells so good that I asked him to make me a meatless version (which he did because he is an awesome husband).

Joe’s Chili


Note from Joe: I make no claims of this being a traditional chili recipe. Just something to cook low and slow, and that comes out delicious in the end and is warm and hearty on a winter weekend. Since Kristen doesn’t eat meat, I’ll save this in the fridge and have it for lunch a couple of days during the week, or late at night after getting back from class.  It’s good stuff. Feel free to mess around and try your own combinations. If it’s well seasoned, chili is really hard to screw up.


  • I lb of ground beef (80/20 or 85/15 ground beef is best but feel free to substitute ground turkey and make sure there’s a decently high fat content. Ground turkey breast will dry out and not taste good).
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (you can substitute with fresh chopped tomatoes, canned diced tomatoes, tomato puree, and even tomato paste for a deeper, darker chili).
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans.
  • 1 yellow onion, diced or chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced or chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, diced or chopped
  • A little olive oil
  • Half a bottle of beer (Note from Joe: I’ve been using a Russian Imperial Stout I brewed with a friend of mine, and it’s fantastic in chili. Any beer will do, but I prefer a darker, less carbonated, and less hoppy. A Guinness is a really great choice).
  • Seasoning to taste (there are no measurements)
    • Cumin
    • Chili powder (adds a nice dark red color)
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Garlic powder
    • Paprika (for smokiness)
  • A bit of cornstarch for thickening


1)  Oil your pot (Joe uses our Le Creuset) with a some olive oil. Let it get nice and hot.

2)  Add a third of your ground beef. Let it brown and take it out. Do the same for the rest.  By splitting the meat up, it browns rather than steams (if you put too much ground beef in at once it will be more grey than brown).

3)  Chop the garlic, pepper, and onion. Add them to the pan and sauté them for a couple of minutes until they smell delicious. Add all of the beef back in, and mix it all together.

4)  Add the tomatoes. Bring it to a boil, and be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot. That’s the good stuff.

5)  Add the beans, liquid and all. Bring it back to a boil.

6)  Add your spices and mix generously. The chili should turn from a lighter red to a deep red, This is good.

7)  Let this simmer for about an hour, top on or off, depending on how thick you want your chili. Stir every now and then.

8)  Bring the pot back up to a boil and add half of the bottle of beer. Drink the rest because beer is delicious when you’re cooking in a hot kitchen.

9)  If you like a spicier chili, and don’t care much for tradition, add a squirt of sriracha. I honestly put this stuff on almost everything.

10)  Let this simmer for as long as you prefer (Note from Joe: If I’m hungry I sometimes eat it half an hour or so after adding the beer. If I have time and start cooking early enough, I’ll let it cook down for a couple of hours. It’s delicious either way).

11)  Enjoy!  It’s great plain, with a sliced avocado, guacamole, sour cream, and even hummus.

 Psst – You can check out more recipes here!

Posted in Food, Recipes | 10 Comments

Shrimp & Broccoli Over Quinoa

The weeks before Joe and I moved, we made an effort to do as little grocery shopping as possible.  Instead of buying more, we tried to use what we had and clean out the pantry.  It was a win-win for us because not only were we spending less but we also had less to move.

Granted, this plan was not always possible (sometimes you have to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things) but we did our best and used up a lot of the staples in our refrigerator and pantry.  A large part of this approach meant eating a lot of cereal and veggie burgers (not together), but we were able to come up with some delicious meals.

In our freezer, next to a box of veggie burgers, was a half a bag of shrimp and a big bag of frozen broccoli.  Clearly, Chinese food came to mind but we didn’t have rice… and we only had a little bit of soy sauce.  This was the time to get creative.

shrimp & broccoli

Shrimp & Broccoli over Quinoa


  • 1/2 bag of shrimp
  • 1/2 bag of broccoli
  • 1 ½ cup quinoa, 3 cups water
  • soy sauce
  • rice wine vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp sugar


1)  Begin by preparing the quinoa (go by what the package says).
2)  As the quinoa cooks, begin to defrost the shrimp.  Once it has defrosted, do any necessary cleaning (we make sure they’re clean and remove the tails).
3)  While the shrimp is defrosting, put the broccoli in a covered microwave safe bowl with a little bit of water for three minutes.
4)  Combine the soy sauce (to taste), rice wine vinegar (to taste), diced garlic, and teaspoon of sugar.  Mix well and put off to the side.
5)  When you’re finished cleaning the shrimp, drizzle a little olive oil in a non-stick pan.  Once the oil has heated, add the shrimp.  When the shrimp is almost done, add in the broccoli and pour the soy sauce mixture into the pan.  Stir everything up until the shrimp and broccoli is coated.
6)  When you’re ready to serve, scoop a serving of the quinoa into a plate and add the broccoli and shrimp mixture.  Be sure to get some of the extra sauce in the pan!
7)  Enjoy!

Shrimp & Broccoli

Psst – you can check out more recipes here!

Posted in Food, Recipes | 6 Comments

Veggie Chili

It’s not really a secret that the only meat I eat is from the sea, but I am able to admit that I am always jealous of the beef chili Joe makes every week.  It makes the entire apartment smell wonderful and looks delicious.  Unfortunately, I cannot bring myself to eat it.

Thankfully, I don’t have to because Joe is a wonderful husband and made me a vegetarian version of his chili!  I can honestly say that this is the best bean chili I have ever eaten.  To make it even better, I’ve been serving it over brown rice – which is great touch!

I highly recommend giving this recipe a go, especially if you’re not sure what to do for a meatless Monday… or you’re looking for a way to warm up during this cold spell!


Veggie Chili


  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cumin to taste
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Chili powder to taste


1)  Add a little bit of olive oil in a pot.  Once it’s heated, throw in the diced onions, garlic, and pepper.  Cook until it’s fragrant and softened a bit.

2)  Add the cans of crushed tomato, followed by the beans, and the spices (I would recommend adding less first, because you can add more later).  Stir everything together.

3)  Allow the chili to come to a boil for five minutes, then lower the heat and simmer for at least an hour.  If you would like to add more spices, do so now.

4)  Enjoy!

PS – You can see more of our recipes here.

Posted in Food, Recipes, Vegan | 6 Comments

Red Sauce with Clams and Mussels


Joe and I have been alternating holidays since we started dating and this year, Christmas Eve was meant to be spent with my family.  We decided to host Christmas Eve dinner for a few reasons: 1) my mom had her annual family Christmas party this past Friday, 2) she would be hosting Christmas dinner, and 3) Staten Island is a mid-point for my family.  It was nice to take on the responsibility of hosting a major holiday but also, slightly terrifying.

In hopes of doing things right, we decided to attempt the feast of seven fishes.  Granted, we didn’t actually use 7 types of seafood (we only made it to four) but it’s the thought that counts.  Today I’ll be sharing our recipe for a red sauce with mussels and clams.  I promise it’s a simple recipe that is easy to do and will definitely impress your guests!

Red Sauce with Clams and Mussels | Popcorn on the Stove

Red Sauce with Clams and Mussels


  • 4 Cans of red sauce
  • 1 Net of mussels
  • 1 Net of clams
  • 3 Whole garlic cloves
  • 3 Chopped garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Prep work: Before doing anything, you’ll need to go out and buy some fresh mussels and clams – just a net of each.  We waited until Sunday to make our purchase since we would be using them the next day.  We just tossed them into a bowl (kept in nets) and let them hang out in the fridge.


1)  Start preparing the marinara sauce.  To do this, start by adding olive oil to the bottom of a heated pot (low heat).  When the oil heats up, add the chopped and whole garlic clove until they brown.  Then add the four cans of tomato sauce.  Stir it all up and let it sit.

2)  Once the marinara sauce is done, you can either let it cool and store it in your refrigerator (which is what we did to make our lives simpler on Monday), or you can continue with the recipe.

3)  While the marinara sauce is simmering, you can start the prep work for the mussels and clams.  When you’re going to get ready to cook them, scrub each clam and drop it into a bowl of water for 20 minutes.  For the mussels, you just have to scrub and de-beard them.  While you’re cleaning the seafood, toss out anything with a cracked/broken shell or won’t close (to check that, just tap them – the healthy ones will close quickly).

4)  Once the marinara sauce is boiling and the seafood is prepped, you can start dropping them into the pot.  The clams and mussels will start opening.  If they don’t, go ahead and toss them out.

5)  When you’re almost ready to eat, boil a pot of water and drop in either linguine or thin spaghetti (really, whichever pasta you prefer) and  cook according to the box’s instructions.

6)  To serve, scoop the seafood out of the sauce, and toss it into a bowl (this way, your guests can choose how much and what seafood they’d like) and pour some of the sauce on top of the pasta.  Don’t forget another bowl on the table for those empty shells :)

Have you tried out a new recipe lately?  Perhaps hosted a holiday for the first time?  Anyone able to make it to seven fish?

PS – You can see more of our recipes here.

Posted in Christmas, Details, Food, Holidays, Recipes | 2 Comments

Hot Chocolate


So today’s edition isn’t technically a craft, but it is something you make… and drink… and it involves chocolate.

Joe found this hot chocolate recipe over on Baked Bree and thought that this would be fun to do over the weekend.  It was the perfect idea since it was cold and rainy out.  Seeing as I’m impatient, I just heated up some soy milk and added my cocoa powder but Joe ended up taking some time to make his hot cocoa.  In fact, he changed it a bit so below is his version of this recipe.


Homemade Hot Chocolate


  • A bar of good chocolate (Joe used Lindt’s Smooth Dark 70% Cocoa)
  • 2 cups of whole milk or whatever you prefer
  • 1 tbsp (real) Maple syrup (or to taste)
  • A few drops of vanilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • Marshmallows


1)  Pour two cups of milk into a sauce pan and heat it up (it does not need to boil).


2)  Break up the bar of chocolate into small pieces.  You can do this by either using a knife and chopping it or using a mortar and pestle like we did.


3)  After the milk has heated up, start dropping the chocolate into the saucepan.


4)  Add the salt, vanilla, and maple syrup.


5) Whisk it all up.  In the beginning, it will be a lighter color but after a couple of minutes, it will get darker.



6)  Pour it into a mug…


7)  … and add some marshmallows.


8)  Enjoy!

Did you end up hiding away this weekend due to the weather?  Maybe started getting into the holiday spirit with things like hot cocoa or candy canes?  Are you a fan of big marshmallows or the tiny ones?  

PS – That mug was a gift someone gave to my dad back in the 80′s.  It cracks me up, which is why I have ‘borrowed’ it for the last six years.  

Posted in Christmas, Food, Fun, Holidays, MerryMondays, Winter | 8 Comments
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