My Midwest Kitchen

Chile Relleno Casserole

I am not sure when I discovered the chile relleno. I think it was in college (Indiana University..GO HOOSIERS) and my sister and I would go to La Charreada for lunch or dinner. No matter when we would go, it somehow turned into endless laughs and silliness over some white queso dip and chips. Oh, and over my chile relleno. We called La Charreada our “happy place,” because we always had such a grand time even on a random Wednesday. And what is there not to be happy about if it isn’t some Mexican food? 

Chile rellenos are a stuffed poblano peppers that are breaded and then deep fried. As much as I love cooking, I am not skilled at frying anything. Frying scares me due to the unhealthiness, but truly more so because I am a klutz. Even as I type I am thinking about my recent tummy burn from spilling boiling water on myself from a boiled egg fiasco. How is it that I have a cooking blog? Safety first, Hyam. Safety! 

The idea of a chile relleno casserole came to me

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Lamb Coconut Curry

As one peruses a menu of an Indian restaurant, one might notice that the meat options are focused solely on chicken, seafood, and lamb. But, growing up, lamb was something that was not ever cooked at my house. My mom, to this day, does not like it and so I was not exposed to it until my 20’s when my taste buds began to be more adventurous. At our house, the meat of choice has always been chicken (or ground beef for some amazing kebabs) and so chicken is where my comfort lies when it comes to carnivorous Indian cooking/eating. However, I wanted to add to my Indian food repertoire so I challenged myself to make a lamb dish. 

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Lemon Mint Detox Water

January. January is a frigid, dreary month and there is just not a lot going on. It’s the month of my sister’s birthday (sorry, Sissy), and well, that’s it. January = eh. So, to make January a little more exciting, like many of you, I have designated January a detox month (is exciting the appropriate word here?). Is there really a better time to detox than the first month of the year? These past weeks have been filled with low calorie, healthy recipes to clear my system of all the gloriousness of the holiday season. Gloriousness = mac and cheese, chocolate, potatoes, meat, drinks, butter, and pretty much all that happens between Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s. It is my most favorite time of year, but my body has paid the price. While weeks of clean eating is not always fun (like I’m ready for some chips and salsa), it sure has its benefits. I am enjoying  more energy, quality sleep, and mindful eating practices. But, my absolute FAVORITE part of this month of cleansing has been my Lemon Mint Detox water. “Water,” you say? YES! 

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French Onion Soup

During frigid winter days, there is nothing quite like a hearty bowl of warm soup. These recent Chicago weeks have brought us snow, freezing rain, below zeros temperatures, and peeks of sun in between. Most of the time I wish I were in bed under my electric blanket or on the couch hiding from the elements. Soup is the perfect way remedy to these days, right? Then again, when I was a child and home to eat lunch during the summer months, my first request would be soup. My dad would exclaim, “But, this is not soup weather!” I still just don’t understand because isn’t any weather soup weather?

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Beef Ragu

When I want to make something decadent and a dish to wow others, my go to is this beef ragu. Seriously, it is utterly amazing and up there with some of the best ragu dishes I’ve had at restaurants. In fact, it may be better! Plus, it is crazy easy to make. Although, it does take some patience and waiting for the minutes on the clock to tick away to hours can seem like forever once your home starts to fill with the aromas of this rich dish. 

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