Posts Tagged ‘chili’

It didn’t start out to be a Labor Day weekend in the kitchen but in the past 24 hours I’ve washed a lot of dishes.

It started with a text from my nephew Garritt. “How busy r u this weekend?” I proceeded to tell him that I’m around, working on a few things around the house and waiting to see if my daughter was coming home. He asked if he could put in a request for me to make something – pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Well how do I say no to a sweet, innocent face like this?

(Disclosure, I Photoshopped a small injury off my forehead because I didn’t want to tell you that right when I was hosting the CBS Sunday morning crew for my real job, I cracked my head open a tiny bit with my car door. But now you know anyway. So, I Photoshopped the injury back on my forehead.)

Staci Garritt 2014

The two middle children in our family. T-R-O-U-B-L-E is our middle name.

Staci Garritt 2015

So, I baked Garritt’s favorite Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

pumpkin chip cookies

While I was at it and washing dishes anyway, I made the Caramel Apple Nut Bars that I had intended to make for my sister Kalli’s birthday last week. I delivered them today. Better late and sweet than never I guess.

Caramel Apple Nut Bars

I’ve been trying to thin out the shelves in my pantry a little so today seemed like the perfect day to bake a big old pot of Make-It-Your-Way Rainy Day Chili. (I should’ve made Beer Chili instead so I could also get rid of a bottle of beer).

rainy day chili

Of course I made from-a-pouch cornbread and added a few dollops of Lake Benton honey. And a bowl of French vanilla pudding with banana slices (because Jason likes it).

And a pie plate of Cherry Crunchobblerumble (because we both like it).

Cherry Crunchobblerumble | Random Sweetness Baking

Well, enough about all the dishes I washed this weekend. Tell me about all the fun you had!

Sweet wrinkly wishes,



Read Full Post »

The weather outside is never frightful when it comes to youth hockey season in the Midwest, especially when one of our teams has a two-week lull in their game schedule. And luckily for these guys (and their little sisters), their parents are as passionate about hockey and having fun as they are. So the First Annual Lake Campbell Winter Classic was established this January. And don’t be surprised if, after these kids are off to college, you’ll find us parents keeping the icy tradition alive. (Yes Ann, I just invited us to your house every January for the rest of our lives.)

Lake Campbell Lake Hockey 2015

First Annual Lake Campbell Winter Classic 2015 Photo courtesy of Ann Park

What does hockey have to do with chili? (Because I know you aren’t asking yourself what this has to do with beer.) Ann, our hostess, shared a scrumptious pot of chili at the party and even though I had to eat and run my daughter to hockey in Watertown, I kept thinking about how good it was to have a steamy bowl of chili topped with cheese, sour cream, and crunchy chips. So when I made a batch of Once a Month Beer Chili Spaghetti the next week, I eyed that meat mixture with beans and corn chips on my mind.

beer chili


Sure, I could have made my old staple, Make-it-your-way Rainy Day Chili but there’s just something about this addicting meat sauce.

Beer Chili

Recipe for beer chili spaghetti and/or beer chili meat mixture (makes approximately 4 cups):

2 pounds ground sirloin or lean ground beef

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1½ teaspoons salt

1¾ teaspoons paprika

1¼ teaspoons cayenne pepper

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1 tablespoon onion powder

1½ teaspoons garlic powder

¼ cup chili powder

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 12-ounce beer

If you are making a meal of beer chili spaghetti and a few meals of beer chili, make 12 ounces of spaghetti noodles and add some of the hot pasta water to the meat mixture and then use some of the leftover meat sauce to make chili. If you are making this meat sauce to make all chili, you’ll need to at least double the beans and tomato juice below. You only need to add pasta water to the portion you are using for spaghetti. 

To make the chili (very imprecise directions):

Take a cup or two of the beer chili meat mixture and add:

1 or 2 (15-ounce) cans red beans (drained)

1 or 2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans in chili sauce

Chili powder to taste

Cumin to taste

Tomato juice – I used part of a 46-ounce bottle. It depends on how much meat sauce you are using and how thick or juicy you like your chili.

Chili Toppings:

Sour cream

Corn chips

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Heat together the meat mixture, beans, and tomato juice. Add the additional chili powder and cumin if desired. When hot, serve with sour cream, corn chips, and shredded cheese. Store leftover chili in airtight container in the refrigerator.

If you are more in the mood for BBQs, make  BeerBQ Joes and put corn chips on top.

Icy & spicy wishes,


Read Full Post »

I’m not sure if I even had cumin in my spice cupboard before I found this recipe for Beer Chili Spaghetti. But now I keep an extra bottle on hand. I talk about this meal often; I seriously crave the spicy spaghetti at least once a month, so I’ve shared the recipe with a few friends. And since I still owe some people the recipe, I’m sharing the link for everyone to enjoy.

Get the recipe for Beer Chili Spaghetti from The Enchanted Cook’s blog. Please note: I do not use 1/2 cup of chili powder as listed in the recipe. I probably only use 1/4 cup at the most, maybe even less. Measure to your liking. For the beer, you can use any dark beer you like, but make sure it’s a dark beer. I also add a few tablespoons of the pasta water to the sauce.

May your bowl be as empty as mine.


Read Full Post »

It was a cold and rainy morning when our construction crew arrived for rebuilding day #1. First on their agenda – build us a garage before the sometimes light and fluffy, but usually blinding and brutal, Minnesota snow flies. When I brought the guys warm cinnamon coffee cake straight from the oven, my dad said to them, “You’ll gain 10 pounds working here.” What a great way to be introduced to strangers! I knew we’d picked the right crew when one of the guys commented back, “That’s ok, winter’s almost here!” I just have to be careful not to make them too comfortable or they’ll still be here when the flowers bloom in the spring.

The coffee cake recipe is from Taste of Home. I added a few teaspoons of vanilla to intensify the flavor of the yellow cake, and I didn’t make the icing; not for any particular reason, other than I know the cake is moist and flavorful without it. (You may notice that the recipe on the Taste of Home website says to bake 30-35 minutes but both times I made it this week, I noticed that even in my convection oven, the cake took 45 minutes or so to bake completely.)

The chili is a “throw in what you like” recipe so you can choose what types of beans and spices you use. This batch, perfect for the slow cooker, makes enough for six hungry guys, one hungry girl, and one serving for later. And because comfort food includes chocolate in my domain, I also made a batch of my Marshmallow Creme Crunch Brownies.

Beginning of rebuilding day #1.

End of rebuilding day #1.

You may be wondering why we are feeding our construction crew. The owner, Lyle Enger, and his crew are from Bigfork, Minnesota which is so many miles from here that they are close to the Canadian border. (As a food blogger, I think it would be awesome to live in a town called Bigfork!) Lyle is a long-time family friend of Jason’s and they know his work well. He owns, and built most of the Maple Ridge Resort on the edge of wilderness in northern Minnesota. (And don’t even get me started on owning a place with the word maple in it. Yum.) The crew is staying in a hotel 10 miles from our house so we felt that the least we could do is feed them lunch each day.  

* * * * * * *

Make-it-Your-Way Rainy Day Chili

3 pounds ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 (15-ounce) can red beans, drained and rinsed

2 (15-ounce) cans chili beans with sauce

2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce

3 (46-ounce) cans tomato juice

BBQ sauce, approximately 1/4 cup

a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce

a couple tablespoons of prepared yellow mustard

cayenne pepper

salt & pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

ground cumin

hot chili powder

onion salt

1 tablespoon or so of brown sugar

Let’s make the chili!

Season the ground beef with onion salt (to taste) and cook with chopped onion until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Put the beef in the slow cooker and add all the beans and the tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, mustard and Worcestershire (all to taste), stirring to combine. Add the can of tomato juice and then add the spices. This truly is a “make-it-your-way” recipe so add any spices or sauces you like. I’ve also been known to add steak sauce and hot pepper sauce. Stir all the ingredients until well combined. Cook until piping hot. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, and diced red onions.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

What kinds of beans and spices do you use in your homemade chili?

* * * * * * * *

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: